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St. Mawaggali conferred with Centre of Excellence Status
November 22, 2023 at 11:58

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THE Government has put a high premium on quality skills for enhanced employability, job creation and youth empowerment. Quality skills development is vital to make the country a competitive investment destination and an efficiency productive hub in the region.

Establishment of Centres of Excellence (CoE) is one of the approaches Government is using to boost quality technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship training (TEVET). Centres of Excellence are places where exceptional quality training takes place that supply right skilled human capital for both the public and private sectors. They (CoE) promote collaboration and provide leadership, best practices, research and development (R&D), support, and training in priority skills areas in the country.

In line with the Government vision on TEVET, St Mawaggali Trades Training Institute in Choma was the latest training institution to be conferred with the status of CoE in Automotive Engineering and Mechanical Machining. Officiating at the CoE awarding ceremony, Minister of Technology and Science Felix Mutati called on the institution to use the equipment to generate income. Mr. Mutati said there was no reason why St Mawaggali Trades Training Institute should not put the equipment to good use by ensuring that the skills that the students acquire are used for industrial development.

He applauded the institution for equipping both male and female with the relevant technical skills and advised the institution to commercialize the automotive and machining department so that they can create revenue. The Minister added that the conferring of the Center of Excellence was not just on the institution but on the students who have acquired the skills because it is them that will do the work out there and not the Principal.

“When you leave the institution, you will set up a business and demonstrate that you are coming from an institution that delivers excellence, it is about the student to be permanently excellent and show that one is coming from a good institutional background. You have the ingredients of being the Center of Excellency. The Centre of excellence is about the students doing the correct thing and delivering. You have entered the circle we can call the Champions League. In the Champions League the pressure is high you blink you lose,” Mr Mutati said.

He however said been a CoE meant more hard work for the institution and that if it lags behind, it will be given a financial penalty adding that the institution will be given an annual target.

And Ministry of Technology and Science Permanent Secretary Dr. Brilliant Habeenzu called on St Mawaggali to ensure that there is diligence and that a performance audit will be conducted yearly and he called for proper resource management at the institution to avoid being summoned by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Meanwhile, the TEVETA Board Chairperson Ngoza Nkwabilo said the technical skills were vital technical enablers for value addition and manufacturing processes through enhanced efficiency, product quality and product development. Mrs. Nkwabilo said the TEVETA Board was constantly working on creating a robust and responsive Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) system for industry-relevant skills. She said the country’s strategic vision is to increase value addition and manufacturing sector output to 15 per cent by 2026 which requires an appropriate skilled workforce that accelerates productivity and TEVET will ensure that Zambia has an adequate skilled workforce for a strong manufacturing sector.

Mrs. Nkwabilo said the accomplishment of Centre of Excellence by St Mawaggali affirms collective commitment and dedication to the improvement of TEVET for employability, productivity and job creation. She added that the attainment of the Centre of Excellence status by the institution makes it one of the beacons of quality skills training in today’s dynamic and competitive world of work. Mrs. Nkwabilo said Government was looking up to the TEVET sector to develop relevant skills needed to implement Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects and that with the increase in CDF budgetary allocation, more is expected from TEVET to develop right skills to drive grassroot development in constituencies, economic zones and wards.

Meanwhile St Mawagali Training Trades Institute Principal Tom Kampamba said his institution was ready for its new status and he will ensure that the state of art equipment at the institution is put to good use.

And Monze Diocese board chairperson Brother Hippolyte Manirakila said the church will continue working with Government in shaping the values of the country.

The TEVETA Board chairperson further handed over learning materials covering six (6) learning programmes to St. Mawaggali Trades Training Institute. The materials were:

  1. Electrical Technology
  2. Carpentry and Joinery
  3. General Hospitality: House Keeping
  4. Bricklaying and Plastering
  5. General Agriculture
  6. General Hospitality: Front Office Operations

These Materials were developed through collaboration between TEVETA and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).