The center for vocational training (CEVOT) was established in April 2007 in Sawa with the primary objective of producing skilled workforce that could accelerate the dynamics of national development and easily cope with ever-growing technological advancement. To this end much focus has been given to meet the growing demand for skilled workers.
CEVOT has in three rounds from 2007-2009 given training to around 9,000 students.
The center has been providing trainings in a wide range of fields such as wood and metal workshop, construction, business and administration, agricultural technology, and school of heavy and light machinery.
The rigorous trainings that have been carried out in this center help the trainees to acquire the necessary skill before they join labor market. Its main objective has been to impart specialized skills and knowledge and produce young workforce that would participate in the overall national development programs.
Regular qualification assessment has been also conducted. For instance, in 2009 sample-survey was conducted in all schools to evaluate skill acquisition and mastery level. The result of the assessment has proven to be satisfactory that most of the students have scored good results both in the theoretical and practical courses.
Gender biased division of labor was the major barrier that hindered women’s participation in many work areas, particularly in technical and vocational trainings. Nevertheless, women now have started to join fields that have traditionally been considered as men’s work such as: construction activities and operating heavy and light machinery. Though there is still less number of women’s participation in the above mentioned areas of specialization, a few female students have joined CEVOT’s schools of heavy and light machinery and construction technology as well.
There is greater number of female students in other fields of study as compared to areas of construction technology and machineries. In this round, three female students have for the first time joined the school of construction technology, and another three in machinery specialization. Rahwa Abay and Selam Girmay are studying in the faculty of heavy and light machinery. These students said that though the work has been male dominated area, they opted to join the schools despite certain lingering attitudes.
Tedros Rezene, a teacher in CEOVT, has been teaching since the establishment of the center, said that the students are all dedicated and keen to learn new things. “When graduated from the school the students implement their skills effectively in their respective work places. Motivated by this, different local companies have sent the former students to act as trainers,” he said.
In the school of machinery students learn technical drawing, traffic rules, fundamental mechanics, driving, English language and computer operations as common courses. Idris Ibrahim and Tsinat Yigzaw are from schools of machinery and wood and metal technology respectively. They said that there are diverse opportunities in life and if one fails to succeed in one area he/she has to take other options and make maximum use of it.
According to reports from the school of agricultural technology, students participate in different workplaces for their practical trainings such as Afhimbol and Molober Agro Industries. Luwam Mekonen is one among the top ten students from the school of Agricultural Technology. She opted to learn soil and water conservation from the other related courses like animal science, animal health, forestry and wild life conservation, and horticulture. She said that she likes to study soil and water conservation for it is closely associated with food security and that she wants to effectively implement the skills she has learnt in dam construction and in preventing soil erosion.
“The courses we have been taking are highly advanced and professional teachers from the Ministry of Agriculture ranging from doctors to engineers have been wholeheartedly sharing their skills and experience with us,” she said.
One who visits CEVOT in Sawa would observe students seriously engaged in practical application of the skills they have learnt. They draw designs and fix woods, install electricity, repair and operate farm machines, dozers and loaders, excavators, motor grader and rollers, and other machines.
According to Mr. Fessehaye Kidane, Director of CEVOT, the center works in collaboration with different partners. “For instance, with agriculture related courses we work in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Transport and Communications also cooperates with the center in providing trainings focusing on traffic laws, supervision activities, and providing driving licenses to the students,” he elaborated.
In this year’s vocational training CEVOT is providing trainings in 19 fields of study and 55 specializations.