DODOMA: THE Parliamentary Committee on Education, Culture and Sports Development has expressed satisfaction with the progress recorded by Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA), calling upon Tanzanians to fully utilise opportunities offered through the institution.
Deputy Minister for Education, Science and Technology Mr Omary Kipanga said the government allocated about 100m/- during 2022/23 financial year for the construction of VETA colleges in 64 districts.
"The aim is to ensure that each district in the country has its own VETA college. VETA mission is to ensure quality vocational skills to Tanzanians, through providing and promoting vocational education and training for socio-economic development," he said.
Mr Kipanga made the remarks recently when the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Culture and Sports Development visited and inspected the Kagera VETA college located at Nyakato ward's Bulugo village, some five kilometres from Bukoba town.
Elaborating, he said VETA owns about 51 colleges countrywide, out of which 48 colleges provide skilled courses in levels 1, 2 and 3 adding that a total of 22,897 students including 9,578 girls were enrolled for various technical courses.
The deputy minister said the sixth phase government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan is keen to attain industrial revolution by promoting skilled manpower and giving youths technical courses to enable them attain self-employment.
"The government is also implementing the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) philosophy by promoting skilled manpower and giving youths technical courses to enable them to employ themselves.
He explained that students pursuing various courses under VETA colleges pay a mere 60,000/- and 120,000/- annual fees for day and boarding students respectively, while the government tops up by paying at least 1.8m/- for each student.
He also revealed that the government was keen to ensure the VETA colleges are equipped with sufficient learning facilities to enable the students to learn in conducive environment.
The Kagera VETA college is among mega projects initiated by the late President John Magufuli who laid the foundation stone on January 18th, 2021.
President Samia hailed the government of China for the continued support and the long friendship between the two countries. She made the remarks during the handing over and launching of the VETA college located at Nyakato.
She directed the Kagera regional commissioner, District Commissioners and District Executive directors, to keep lists of students who are enrolled with the VETA college, and directed them to ensure that upon their completion, they are provided with work equipment to start a new life. This will sustain their life in self-employment, she said.
The Head of State appealed to youths, especially those from Kagera Region, to utilize the VETA college and pledged that once the studies commence, the government would allocate 1.1bn/- each month for operational costs and would also pay school fees to 20 students (10 boys and 10 girls) who hail from underprivileged families pursuing long courses.
Equally, she appealed to people where similar projects were being undertaken to ensure that they safeguard them and avoid vandalism for their own benefit and future generations.
"This multi-billion project is of great importance. Apart from training youths in lifelong skills, it will also provide employment opportunities to surrounding villagers. The government was keen to construct VETA colleges in every district to enable the youths to get life-long skills," she said.
She explained that a recent study released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), indicate that about 12 per cent of Tanzanian youths were unemployed. It was on this basis that the government was working hard to provide them with life-long skills.
"Other big projects need skilled labour which will create employment opportunities to youths. Of the 139 districts VETA has 77 colleges. The government has allocated 100bn/ this year for the exercise and would continue to allocate 100bn/ each year," she said.
Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Ms Chen Mingjian explained that the implementation of VETA project was among China's support to African countries including capacity building.
She was optimistic that the VETA colleges will create high quality skills for youths and open doors to success.
The Acting National VETA Director, Mr Anthony Kasore, informed President Samia that the project was undertaken by a Chinese contractor, Shadxi Construction Investment Group Ltd, and cost a total of 22.04bn/- upon completion.
Under phase one about 400 students on long courses would be enrolled while under phase two about 1,000 students taking short courses would be enrolled, he said.
The Kagera VETA college has the capacity of enrolling 400 students for long courses and 1,000 others for short courses while those available were 259 students including 76 females. Out of the number 20 students (10 from Zanzibar) were being sponsored by President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Courses offered at the Kagera VETA college include electrical installation, welding and metal fabrication, plumbing and pipe fitting, carpentry and joinery, masonry and brick laying among others.
VETA is an autonomous government Agency established through the Act of Parliament No. 1 of 1994 Chapter 82 [Revised in 2006].
The overall objective of establishment of VETA is to oversee the Vocational Education and Training system in Tanzania. It is charged with the responsibilities of promoting, coordinating, providing, regulating and financing VET in the Country.