Skills & Knowledge
Cambrian College offers expertise to Africa
“The power is out 10-12 hours a day. Students would be just sitting there waiting for the lights to come back on. Trying to teach electrical trades with no power was impossible,” said Jones.
On their visit to Sudbury, Mpambwe and Temu were overwhelmed by the abundance of resources available.
When Jones was at the school in Mwanza, he was able to follow up on how his colleagues implemented his recommendations and to continue tweaking the curriculum. Jones brought some hand tools with him on this trip and helped the school create a wish list that includes items like linesman pliers, wire strippers, side cutters and simple screwdrivers and knives.
A large portion Jones’s work in Mwanza was to help develop a strategy for building partnerships with industry. The team delivered a successful presentation to managers at AngloGold, who immediately showed support and agreed to help the school by providing some of the equipment on their wish list, as well as student placements and other ways to support the school. As of January, AngloGold had10 VETA graduates on placements.
MANTRAC, the heavy equipment supplier, is also working in Tanzania and Jones was able to help the school begin negotiations to apply for a bursary and request donations of equipment.
“Whatever they can get hold of and keep, they make sure it lasts because everything is so scarce and difficult to replace,” said Jones. “The computers they have are the ones we got rid of 20 years ago, but that is cutting edge technology for them.”
Jones described his first time in Africa as an eye-opening experience. “It is a great way to see how other people live in the world because you realize how much more we have here,” he confided. “We were watching some boys play ball and then recognized that it wasn’t a ball but a filled bag.”
Jones returned to Sudbury determined to continue helping the school, not only with its equipment needs, but with soccer balls, too.
Tagged Africa, Cambrian College, Canada, Charles Mpambwe, donation, Edwin Temu, heavy equipment supplier, heavy-duty mechanics, industrial electricity training, industrial equipment, MANTRAC, Mwanza, Ontario, professor, Robert Jones, Sudbury, Tanzania, tools, VETA, Vocational Educational Training Authority