Speech on “Chinese+ Vocational Education” at the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania
Prof. B. Rutinwa, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam
I. What We Need: The Tanzania Development Vision 2025 and Demand for Vocational Education in Tanzania
The Tanzania Development Vision 2025 (TDV 2025) was developed in the late 1990s to guide economic and social development efforts up to the year 2025, which outlined the Tanzania’s development aspirations. The two major targets clarified in TDV 2025 are to transform Tanzania into a middle-income country, and to transform the economy from a predominantly agricultural one to a diversified and semi-industrialized economy with a substantial industrial sector comparable to typical middle-income countries.
Now it is almost the end of 2019, and we are still on the way of realizing semi-industrialized economy. A big challenge lies in the Tanzanian youth’s lack of necessary technologies. Therefore, we have great demand for vocational education.
II. What We Have Done: Vocational Training in Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam
Since 2018, the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam (CI UDSM) has already started several projects on vocational education.
1. The Training Workshop on Agriculture Technology
CI UDSM has organized the 1st and 2nd Training Workshops on Agriculture Technology in collaboration with the Chinese Agriculture Demonstration Center in 2018 and 2019. 20-30 local trainees were enrolled and some basic technologies in planting crops and vegetables were taught in each workshop. Such training workshops are very popular in the agricultural region like Morogoro. CI UDSM also compiled a series of guidebook for practical agricultural technologies in Swahili, which will be published next year.
2. Lu Ban Workshop and the Seminar on China-Tanzania Cooperation in Vocational Education
In 2019, CI UDSM, Chongqing Vocational Institute of Engineering and Group Six International Construction Company in Tanzania signed a cooperative agreement to initiate the platform for exchanges between China and Tanzania in vocational education.
Based on the agreement, 5 staff specialized in Architecture, Civil Engineering and other related fields were selected from the College of Engineering and Technology at University of Dar es Salaam to participate in a one-month training at the Chongqing Vocational Institute of Engineering in China during June and July.
On the other hand, Lu Ban Workshop at UDSM was launched on 24th June 2019, and the Seminar on China-Tanzania Cooperation in Vocational Education was held on the same day. The Lu Ban Workshop at UDSM is started within the “Belt and Road” Initiative and aimed at training competent artisans of civil engineering in Dar es Salaam to support TDV 2025.
3. Chinese Training Courses for Tourist Guides
Tanzania is one of Africa’s premier tourist destination and attracts many Chinese tourists every year. CI UDSM also developed specific training courses for tourist guides in Tanzanian National College of Tourism (NCT), and edited a Swahili textbook on Tourism Chinese in Tanzania, which will also hopefully be published in 2020.
III. How We Can Do Better in the Future: Some Suggestions about China-Tanzania Cooperation on Vocational Education
What CI UDSM has done up to now has been proved to be significant for China-Tanzania cooperation on vocational education. Actually we know that there are many technical or professional certificate authentication systems in China, such as the Certified Public Account (CPA), Tour Guide License and the like. In Tanzania, we also have the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) as an official institution for vocational education and training. To explore more fruitful and rewarding cooperation in the future, we suggest that China and Tanzania develop the similar training courses and technical or professional certificate authentication systems and implement mutual authentication for vocational qualifications with the collaboration between VETA and the corresponding Chinese institution. In this way, we hope to improve Tanzanian young people’s practical technologies in specific fields.