Lizzy Mushoriwa Correspondent
Industrial training is a great tool for students who want a more hands-on approach to complement their academic route, especially if they know what industry they want to move into. If a school leaver wants to work in a specific field, it could be better for their career progression to combine both practical learning with subject and theory content.
During their training process, they get the chance to work with the leading minds and also get the chance to explore more of their skills.
Msasa Industrial Training College is one of the leading institutions which offers industrial courses nationwide.
The college prides itself in the various short courses and programmes that are meant to improve industrial skills.
Msasa Industrial Training College Principal Ms Ringisai Chinamasa says their institution mainly focuses on industrial training to equip artisans with quality industrial skills that will help improve Zimbabwe’s industrial sector.
“We regard our college as a college of excellence in terms of industrial training. We produce the best artisans and industrial workers, as well as technopreneurs.
“We do not train students to have skills only, but also to equip them with quality entrepreneurship skills. We train them not only to look for jobs, but also for them to create their own businesses and employ others through short courses such as Business Management.
“Thus, as an institution, our mission seeks to provide highly skilled, patriotic, innovative and competent human capital that addresses the needs of industry and commerce, entrepreneurs and the community at large,” said Ms Chinamasa.
Ms Chinamasa says that for the institution to produce highly qualified and skilled students, they embark on various projects in various areas and go through trade tests for them to get certified.
“As an institution we enrol students using various criterions. There are those who are enrolled on the basis that they have 5 O-Level (subjects), and those who are school leavers without any subject, but are able to read and write English.
“They both go through rigorous training. We offer trade testing for those who would not have had the chance to acquire the Ordinary Level Certificate but are eager to pave way for skills training and development. Trade testing courses include, Automotive Motor Mechanics, Diesel Plant Fitting, Maintenance Fitting, Boiler Making, among others. The courses are offered on full time and part time basis,” said Ms Chinamasa.
“Our training here at Msasa is more practical since our mandate is to produce skilled workers and artisans. We embarked on various successful projects that were properly completed. Our students are doing a lot of practical, real training projects and we are doing this in order to boost their skills and also as per the government’s mandate.
“For instance, we have constructed a laboratory block at Seke High 2 and an ECD block at Zengeza 4 Primary School. The Principal’s house was also built by our students and we also have an on-going project in Madziwa where we are constructing students’ toilets and outdoor kitchen,” said Ms Chinamasa.
The institution’s vision is to become an institution of excellence in producing world class industrial and entrepreneurship skills. Its core values are Ubuntu, inclusivity, innovativeness, entrepreneurship and teamwork.
Msasa Industrial Training College offers courses from National Foundation Certificate to National Certificate.
The programmes offered are Automotive Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Construction Engineering and Electrical Power Engineering.
Promoting gender balance
Industrial courses are no longer a thing for the masculine sex only; many women and girls are now empowering themselves through these courses. Msasa Industrial Training College has engaged in outreach programmes to encourage women to take up the courses.
In an interview, the Head of Division, Mr Webster Tunduwani said there is need for women to take up the challenge and train in the courses that were once viewed as male dominated.
“We are doing career guidance and outreach programmes to try and reach out to female students to come and enrol with us. Many people still view our courses as male dominated, but we are seeing quite a number of female students enrolling, although the turn up is still low. We would like to achieve a 50-50 gender parity.
“We have also encouraged recruitment of female lecturers,” he said.
In line with the female recruitment drive, cement manufacturing company, Lafarge is also sponsoring 46 girls in Brick and Block Laying as part of their social responsibility initiatives.
The programme started in May 2017 and is ending in March 2019. There is also another group of female students on attachment at the institution who are renovating the electrical work- shop.
Patience Kasichi, a student in Motor Mechanics Class 1 at Msasa Industrial Training College, said she has always been passionate about becoming a motor mechanic and her dream is coming true through the rigorous training she is going through at the college.
“It has always been my dream to be a motor mechanic, and I also like the challenge in that the course is male dominated. This is the reason why I took up the course. Most of my classmates are men but I don’t feel like I’m in the wrong place because I know what I want, and what I came here for.
“Right now, I am on trade test and am finishing my course.
“To all the girls and women who are fearing to take up the challenge, I say there is nothing hard here. You can do it. I believe what a man can do a lady can too,” she said
With rapid change in industrialisation many people believe that artisans now don’t have work but in reality, they are becoming more essential in industry. Artisans are there to install service, repair and maintain. Engineers and artisans work well together in providing pleasing results. With the industry expanding there is need for more artisans and Msasa Industrial College is doing an excellent job in training them.
The college also offers Information Technology courses to all students who enrol in different programmes as it is essential to everyone who wishes to excel in either their studies or work area. As the industry and technology is expanding the college has taken it as a mandate to buy new machines so as to expand the knowledge of their students.
“We gratefully appreciate the donations and funding we are getting from Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF).
“They gave us a wheel alignment machine, we also bought the grinding machine and a diesel plant fitting. We will continue to buy more state-of-the-art machines so as to create a good learning environment for our students and also for them to familiarise with modern industrial machinery before they go out there to work,” said Mr Tunduwani.
“We have also introduced a new course Electrical Power Engineering, and it’s underway. Students have already begun to enrol and we will continue to introduce new courses so as to meet the demands of the growing industry and to achieve Zimbabwe’s vision of middle income by 2030,” he noted.