China-Africa education scheme helps train students, teachers for mechanical engineering

“Training African youth by providing Chinese equipment and Chinese teachers is aimed at grooming African talents and transforming their skills into tangible benefits,” said Han Jiang, a teacher in the China-Kenya Vocational Education Program.

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On the campus of Kenya Technical University in downtown Nairobi, students from a number of African countries can be seen busy operating computer numerical control (CNC) machines made in China.

Mwansa, a 23-year-old girl from Zambia, was standing in front of the blue-and-white CNC machine, concentrating on commanding the machine, while several male students watched her operation carefully. The female team leader is preparing for the African Vocational Skills Challenge to be held at the end of August, an overseas corporate social responsibility project organized by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), an important member of China’s aviation industry.

The project will provide participants from African countries with relevant training for nearly two months, and then reward students who stand out in the competition. Similar projects like the one Mwansa has set her eyes on have been carried out beyond Kenya. In recent years, in order to help African countries cultivate professional and technical personnel, AVIC has cooperated with education ministries in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Ghana, and Gabon, with the company providing teaching equipment and teachers from China to pass along vocational skills and experience to local youth.

According to Zhao Leilei, manager of the AVIC International Vocational Education Project in Kenya, AVIC and Kenya Ministry of Education have since built 10 vocational colleges for Kenya, providing institutional guidance and professional training since 2010, when the first phase of the vocational education project was agreed on. In 2013, the two sides signed the second phase of cooperation, and carried out professional skills training for students majoring in 10 fields from 138 Kenyan colleges and vocational schools, including mechanical processing, electronic systems, and automobile maintenance. The plan is to train about 1,500 teachers and 150,000 students by the end of 2020.

“Training African youth by providing Chinese equipment and Chinese teachers is aimed at grooming African talents and transforming their skills into tangible benefits,” said Han Jiang, a teacher in the China-Kenya Vocational Education Program.

Achoma, a girl from western Kenya, said her dream was to open a studio in her hometown to teach more Kenyan youth the skills of operating machine tools, hoping that it could help more young people like her master these skills to change their destiny.

(Source: People’s Daily)

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