NAIROBI, Kenya, April 28 – The Chinese non-profit organization, China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) has entered into an agreement with the Association of African Technical and Polytechnic Universities (ATUPA) to improve professional skills and administrators and trainers in African technical training institutions.
The training program is one of the sub-projects under the “Future of Africa, China-Africa Vocational Education Cooperation Program” and will be implemented by the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) and ATUPA.
The training program consists of two parts: online training and offline teaching and is aimed at institutional managers of African projects, education directors and relevant professional managers.
Beneficiaries will receive training in theoretical knowledge, advanced professional technology, educational philosophy, teaching methods, curriculum design and assessment.
Johannes Mutiku, the Secretariat of the Association of African Universities and Colleges of Technology and Application, says this is a major milestone for technical training institutes across the African landscape.
“The recently launched offline teaching training program is key to raising the standard of technical training on the continent.” He said in an interview.
Mutiku explained that “the capacity of trainers will be enhanced to meet global standards and will not only learn advanced teaching concepts, but also strengthen their theoretical basis, practical ability and understanding of industry integration and education”.
The offline education aims to improve the professional and technical capacities of administrators and trainers in African institutions through practical training, to strengthen communication and exchanges between Chinese and African teachers and to help cultivate technical talents and qualified Africans.
Offline training in Kenya is organized by AVIC International and includes a study and site survey of electrical engineering in three flagship projects in and around Nairobi, namely; GTC (Global trade center), Two Rivers and Karimenu II dam.
22 students from the Technical University of Kenya and two representatives from the African Association of Universities and Colleges of Technology and Application attended the event.
This transnational vocational education training program is organized by China Education Association for International Exchange, which is a beneficial exploration to share China’s TVET experience to the world and greatly expands the breadth and depth of Sino-African cooperation in vocational education.
Professor Edwin Ataro, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment at the Technical University of Kenya (TUK), said the initiative from a development partner like China will also benefit students who take courses related to engineering.
“As a technical university, we are about to sign a four-year MoU with the Zhejiang Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering where 23 engineering professors from TUK will be trained in eight key course areas. related to engineering with the aim of strengthening their training skills which they will pass on to their students, thus improving the quality of graduates from these engineering fields. said Professor Ataro.
The eight engineering fields include electrical and electronics, civil and resource engineering,
Engineering and built environment, Aerospace and automotive engineering, Chemical and bio-systems engineering, SurveyGeospatial science, Building and property studies, Architectural and spatial planning.
Professor Ataro revealed that the pact will also cover a work-study program where undergraduate engineering students from TUK will travel to China for a year to train.
“We aim for 30 students from our electrical engineering department to travel to China on a work-study program each academic year. They will be trained by trainers from our Chinese technical institute and this is aimed at upgrading their skills to global Chinese standards. Upon graduation, they can also work for Asian companies or return home and help improve the standard of engineering education in Kenya.
Ataro said it was another sub-project under the “Future of Africa, China-Africa Vocational Education Cooperation Program”, which involves African and Chinese universities and colleges working in pairs to offer 1 +2+1 or 1+1.5+. 0.5 programs, in which African students study in their own country as well as in China for a bachelor’s degree or diploma and skills certificate.
“One of the biggest challenges for most engineering departments in Africa is the lack of training facilities and enough lecturers with global skills to impact our graduates. That is why we have tailored our training to have a combined approach that will see our lecturers trained up to PhD level help improve the quality of training and address the shortage of these two skills, Ataro added.
Over the next five years, the engineering department plans to foster partnerships with industry that will see them commercialize their innovations.
“We are considering revenue generating partnerships with global industry leaders like AVIC international where we can partner on project-based projects so that the institute can generate additional revenue that we can use to purchase equipment for tip for training.’ reveals Professor Ataro.
In 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping, at the 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, promised to develop the TVET sector in Africa.
The future plan for Africa-China-Africa cooperation in vocational education is an important part of the “other nine projects” capacity building project proposed by President Xi Jinping.