The Vocational Training System
Government Trade Schools
After independence in 1961, the Government inherited two Trade Schools operated by the Ministry of Education. These were Ifunda & Moshi Technical Schools. The schools ran a three-year training programme for youth who had completed primary school education and the curriculum was broad in the first year with subsequent specialization during the second and third years. A period of two years indentured apprenticeship scheme was designed to follow the school based training. Apprenticeship training was based on a 1940 ordinance; Cap.81 of the Laws. The schools were initially established to fill a real need because the country had neither the industrial network nor the skilled workers who could train others on the job. But while the curriculum placed great emphasis on workshop practice, the schools were at the same time conforming to the requirements of the education system instead of the industry system
Establishment of Chang’ombe Vocational Training Centre
In 1969 a Vocational Training Centre was established at Chang’ombe in Dar es Salaam. This was the first centre to conduct Vocational Education and Training in Tanzania. The people who were trained were army soldiers and workers from Ministry of Works.
Then slowly candidates who had completed standard seven (primary school leavers) started to join such training. The Instructors at first were members of the military force and few civilians, Mr Ahmed Athuman, the Advisor to VETA management was one of the Instructors. As time went on, candidates who performed well started to be retained as Instructors. The centre started with three trades namely: Motor Vehicle Mechanics - with 29 candidates, fitter Mechanics - with 9 candidates, and Carpentry and Joinery - with 8 candidates.
Establishment of NVTD
In 1974 the first Vocational Training Act was enacted to replace the Apprenticeship Ordinance followed by the establishment of the National Vocational Training Division (NVTD) in September 1975 within the Ministry of Labour and Manpower Development. The late Morgan H. Manyanga was appointed as Director of NVTD. Under the 1974 Vocational Training Act a National Vocational Council was established, with its main function being to ensure the existence of adequate supply of properly trained manpower at all levels in industry as well as to secure the greatest possible improvement in the quality and efficiency of vocational training in the country. In 1974 NVTD started with ten Trades namely: Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Fitter Mechanics, Carpentry and Joinery, Electrical Installation, Masonry and Bricklaying, Plumbing, Welding and fabrication, Painting and Decorating, Tailoring and Shoe Making with a total number of 258 candidates. Mr. Ahmed Athuman who was the Assistant Director for Planning was given a role of leading a planning section in that Division. The training system which emerged was dual in that training was divided into two parts. The first part was based on one or two years of institutional basic training followed by two to three years of apprenticeship training in industry.
In its 20 years of existence (from 1974 — 1994), the National Vocational Training Division established 18 Vocational Training Centres (non for Lindi and Kigoma regions) and one Vocational Teachers Training College (MVTTC at Morogoro region). Mr. E. Ngowi who was the Assistant Director for Training was given a role of developing and implementing training system. A total of 34 trades were offered to equip young men and women with basic employable skills before they joined organizations in various sectors of the national economy. NVTD offered Trade Testing grade III, II and I, grade one being the highest.
Mission Trade Schools started operations in Tanzania during the colonial period and offered training in common skills such as carpentry, tailoring, bricklaying and shoemaking. Most trainees were and still are found in carpentry, tailoring, motor vehicle mechanics, masonry and plumbing. Courses are of three to four years duration and the training programmes are built in training cum production in order to recover some of the training expenses as well as expose the trainees to the realities of working life. Through their church affiliation, some receive assistance from mission organizations/churches in Europe or North America. One of the strengths of these schools is that they have a strong local base through parish and diocese organizations. They also have schemes which other centres seek to develop (production units).
Private Vocational Training Centres concentrate mainly on “soft skills” such as secretarial, computer courses, commercial and catering/hotel services. Traditional blue collar trades, which require expensive training infrastructures, are not found in the majority of these centres due to cost.
Company based vocational training centres are mainly found in the bigger companies and parastatal enterprises. Training offered is demand driven and is narrowed to the ultimate skills competence needed for production and services. With the decline of the parastatal sector, most company based Vocational Training Centres are now closed.
The Post Primary Technical Training Centres are under the Ministry of Education and were established mainly to impart basic skills to primary school leavers to enable them contribute to development of the villages which were established during the villagization move in the 1970’s. The training workshops are located in the Primary Schools and the centres have a serious capacity utilization problem due to lack of credibility caused mainly by the high recurrent costs.
The Folk Development Colleges (FDCs) were established as institutions for training rural people for useful service to their communities. The origin of the FDCs can be traced back to the adult education programmes introduced after Independence and based on the Swedish Folk High School model. They were planned to constitute the third stage of adult education by offering literacy as well as vocational skills. The curriculum is however designed centrally and this prevents any significant autonomy for the FDCs to adapt to the needs of their local communities. In recent years the Colleges have introduced courses that lead to trade tests. Although traditionally trade tests are the key to formal sector employment, their introduction in the FDCs is believed to strengthen the level of skills in the respective rural areas.
The Changing Macro Policy Setting
Tanzania has persistently stressed that socio-economic development is meaningful if it takes care of the needs and expectations of the ordinary man in society. The policy has therefore been to combat poverty, ignorance and disease. However, for a long time now, and especially from the 1970s the country has experienced serious economic problems arising from both internal and external forces. In order to tackle them government has had to review its policies and plans, going all the way back to the 1960s. The reviews have brought about changes influenced very much also by those taking place globally. These changes have received expression in the new policy, which provides for:-
Effects on VET provision
Parallel to the changing socio-economic situation, the vocational training system has also had to change. The Government was no longer the major employer; the parastatal sector, which was the main employer of apprentices, is being privatized. Under the circumstances, major reviews were undertaken from 1986 – 1990 in order to find out how the vocational training system could be adjusted to meet the needs of the new environment. The main findings of the reviews revealed weaknesses some of which were that:-
The new VET system.
In order to remove these weaknesses of the VET system as it existed then, and, also to bring the system into the service of a changed socio-economic outlook, the following recommendations were made:
1.5. The 1994 Vocational Education and Training Act.
The Act, passed by the National Assembly in 1994 and effective from 1995, resulted from the broad policy frame work summarized above. It seeks to improve the provisions of vocational education and training through new legislation as well as changes in the structure and administrative style. Central to the Act is the establishment of VETA, financed through a training payroll levy and supervised by the Vocational Education and Training Board.
Status as from 1995
-New and renovated Centres
Mbeya, Iringa, Kigoma, Mtwara, Dar es Salaam renovated
- Vocational Centres rehabilitation
Songea VTC New Centre, Mara rehabilitated, Kagera, Arusha Oljoro, Mikumi,
In pipeline Construction and rehabilitation
-Arusha Tourism and Hotel management, Singida, Kibaha, Manyara and Lindi
-Mpanda, Ulyankulu, Shinyanga, Dakawa and Tabora RVTSC.
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