The government has finally fulfilled its promise by building vocational training colleges in all the old 26 regions with Coast, Lindi, Manyara and Dar es Salaam being the last beneficiaries.
This was revealed yesterday by the Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda when inaugurating the Vocational Education Training Centre for Coast Region christened Veta-Pwani at Kongowe.
The Premier said very few Tanzanians have vocational skills due to lack of colleges.
“To overcome this problem, the government has taken measures including banning the upgrading of technical colleges into universities because of huge demand by job markets for experts who graduate from technical and vocational colleges,” he noted.
Pinda said vocational training is important in that various groups of people need it for their own development.
“We have many youths who have just completed Standard Seven, forms Four and Six. But we have some people who just want to have various skills,” the PM said, adding that the other group is that of employed people who want to top up their skills.
He said the country has so far 1,000 technical and vocational training centres in general with the accommodation capacity of 120,000 students only, leaving about 500,000 youths in unabsorbed every year.
“If this is the demand, then we need to build more and more colleges in order to give more opportunities to those who want to undertake training,” Pinda said.
Pinda said the government will do all it can to look for funds so as to build more vocation training centres.
Vocational Education Training Authority Director General Zebadiah Moshi said construction of the four colleges in Coast, Lindi and Manyara regions, and the Information and Communication Technology College at Kipawa in Dar es Salaam Region was made possible by a soft loan given the South Korean government.
“The South Korean government provided USD18m --about 22bn/- when we signed in 2005 to build the colleges,” Moshi said.
According to the contract signed between South Korea and Tanzania, the former was to contribute 80 percent while the latter had to contribute the remaining 20 percent.
“But there was a special agreement that if construction costs go up, then Tanzania was to top up 40 percent of its contribution to construction of the colleges,” Moshi said.
As for the Veta-Pwani College, whose construction started in 2009 and finished in 2011, the Tanzania government contributed 60.9 percent, while the South Korean government gave the remaining 39.1 percent.
“It has taken us 5.44bn/- to complete construction work on this college. Construction of the building alone has consumed 4bn/- while plants, training facilities and furniture have cost 1.44bn/-,” Moshi clarified.
There are areas which have not been completed in the four colleges and need about 69bn/- to completion, he said.
For his part, Education and Vocation Training minister Dr Shukuru Kawambwa reiterated that his ministry has very few higher education opportunities for the young who finish primary and secondary education every year. “Currently more than 500,000 young people finish primary and secondary education annually, but the existing colleges can accommodate only 125,000 students,” he noted.
The Coast Regional Commissioner Mwantumu Mahiza said the college will be used effectively to provide training to all young people who are in need of vocational training.
“We are aware that our region has many young people and this college alone cannot accommodate them all. We have established other projects, ‘Pwani Youth Centre for Excellence where youths will also undertake training,” she said.