Radar | Feb 09,2019
August 31 , 2019
By SELAMAWIT MENGESAHA ( FORTUNE STAFF WRITER )
The Ministry of Science & Education is considering upgrading the existing Federal Technical & Vocational Training Institute into a technical university.
For the upgrade of the Institute, the Ministry of Science & Education is amending the establishment regulation of the Institute. The Ministry has also allocated 200 million Br for the upgrade project.
The university will provide comprehensive and technical training and conduct research activities, according to Teshale Berecha, director general at the Institute, which provides training to teachers and individuals in leadership positions who reach level four or five in TVET programmes or have diplomas.
The Institute expects the construction of the university to commence next year after the regulation is approved by the Council of Ministers.
Along with the upgrade of the Institute, the Ministry drafted a road map to restructure the existing 44 universities, making some of them provide comprehensive and technical training and conduct research activities, according to Teshale.
The road map drafted for 2018-2030 pointed out a need to open applied universities to link theories at schools with practice and engage more in scientific research. Last month Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) disclosed his administration plan of turning five to six existing universities into applied universities giving hands-on training.
Recently, the government launched a project that aims to create three million jobs in a year. In a bid to realise this plan, the government is making new changes, such as building the capacity of educational institutions to give hands-on training to the workforce that will join the job market.
Operating with 200 lecturers, the Institute which enrolls 9,000 students at a time, plans to add some more foreign professionals after the expansion. Now it enrolls students into 22 technology departments with bachelor’s degrees and eight departments with master’s degree programmes.
It also plans to send the trainers abroad to international schools, since the country has a shortage of professionals in teaching, especially for technical colleges, according to Teshale.
The Institute has 15 satellite campuses in the Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, Southern Nations, Nationalities, & Peoples' regions and the two federal city administrations. The country has 500 TVET colleges, which are run by the government.
The Institute has 50 workshops, dormitories for 2,500 students, and a library that can accommodate over 3,000 students. The Institute graduated 2,000 teachers and leaders in the last fiscal year.
The Institute has degree programmes in seven occupational sectors: automotive, construction, electronics, information and communication technology, manufacturing, railways and surveying technology.
Getaneh Terefe, the founder of GT Consulting Engineers, recommends the Institute start training in technology, since the world is going digital and technology is becoming part of peoples lives in many ways.
''To prepare students for higher education and future jobs, it must ensure that they are equipped with technical skills rather than theory,'' Getaneh said.
The expert believes that education needs to become more flexible and needs to provide content as well as skills in its delivery.
“The Institute shouldn't only concentrate on preparing the college faculty,'' he said, ''but the training it provides must have knowledge-based content and must be creative and engaging.”
PUBLISHED ON Aug 31,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1009]
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