Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has discouraged the current trend of transforming technical colleges into universities, saying the colleges need to offer the same services they were intended to at their formation.

Speaking over the weekend at the third graduation ceremony of Arusha Technical College (ATC), Pinda said that the country was now in more need of technicians than before. During the graduation a total of

231 students graduated from different technical fields.

“This is the biggest challenge, as now we’re facing a shortage of technicians in engineering and technology and we’ve started taking steps to improve the quality of education offered by vocational training colleges,” he said, adding that the colleges need to be closely supervised by the National Council of Technical Education (NACTE).

He stated that by June, last year, NACTE had registered 240 institutions offering technical education across the country.

“This number is still small compared to the country’s demand,” he said.

He however commended ATC for coming up with unique training programmes which meet the market demand. Recently, the college introduced civil and irrigation engineering subjects among three new courses.

Earlier, college principal Dr. Richard Masika said that ATC was set to increase enrolment of students from 1,170 to 1,655 by 2014/15 in an effort to curb the shortage of technicians in different engineering fields.

He stated that the college was in the process of increasing the number of programmes which meet the country’s requirement and market demand.

“We’re very determined to meet the challenges facing the country right now. Our role as a technical institute is to drill more experts in this area,” he said.

Established in 1978, the college was elevated to an autonomous college by the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) in 2007.

Acting College board chairman Susan Mnafe said that in order for ATC to meet its mission, more had to be done, including improving teaching and learning infrastructure and increasing the number of female hostels.

By Lusekelo Philemon, The Guardian

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