The Sawa Vocational Training Center (SCVT) has been training students in various technical fields for 14 years. Initially, the center trained for one year certified students in the fields of electricity, drawing, surveying and building. The program has been reviewed and improved over the past eight years. The number of areas of specialization has increased and the one-year certificate program has been transformed into a two-year certificate program aimed at providing students with practical experience in their areas of specialization.
Considering the importance of the training programs in improving the nation’s human resource base and the relevance of the training programs to the country’s development plans, the government has invested more than USD 16 million for the purchase of modern training equipment.
SCVT students were encouraged to work on innovative works and their ingenuity could be seen at the exhibitions held each year as part of their senior technical work presentations in their respective fields.
Some students feel that they should have received a diploma instead of a certificate because they studied for two years. But Mr. Negasi Kifle, director of Building Construction Technology 01, is of the opinion that the courses offered at the center strictly follow the standards set for practical and scientific courses. He said that most of the time a science degree course takes three years while the courses at SCVT cover 60 credit hours which should be covered in four semesters over a two-year period and therefore l The award of the certificate is justified.
Mr. Negasi added that for many students, certificate level courses have been a short road to what would have been achieved in 20 years. The students were very eager to take the courses and they were always ready to do more in their future careers. There would be an incentive for those who are passionate to continue their education at a degree level as they have already covered the necessary credit hours.
The Covid-19 outbreak could have been a setback for the teaching and learning process across the country, as schools were closed for a year. But, Mr. Negasi said, the fact that SCVT is a boarding school and there was no contact with other parts of the country that were partially closed, SCVT training was carried out without any interruptions, a rare benefit for students to complete. their studies within the allotted time.
The SCVT provides financial and material support to students in need, and the Ministry of Education provides teaching materials when needed.
To give students extensive access to reading materials, the center opened a digital library. The well-trained teachers also worked hard to ensure that the students had a good knowledge of the subject.
According to the teachers and the administration of the SCVT, the overall competence of the pupils of the center is remarkable. All students meet established standards and most have performed well while some demonstrate exceptional excellence. In addition, the participation of students in the SCVT increases every year. They are increasingly competitive with their male counterparts and excel in certain areas. Despite their small number compared to the number of male students, female students were resolute in their studies, which is evident in the number of women graduating with distinction. At the beginning of the 12th, for example, of the nine students who obtained full marks, five are women.
Elim Ghirmai and Saron Mihreteab, graduates in the 12th year of the school year, obtained four grades in four semesters. Saron studied electronics and graduated with great distinction. She said her father is a technician and what she learned from him inspired her to study electronics. Elim, for his part, said that her father is an engineer and that she decided to study surveying due to her father’s influence. The two exceptional students said the center allowed them to become versatile and created many opportunities for social interactions which led to strong relationships.
After graduation, students were assigned to develop infrastructure such as dam and road construction, electricity, agriculture, maintenance of electronics, refrigerators and air conditioners, plumbing, auto mechanics, computer maintenance and networking, drawing and surveying. Although SCVT graduates have left their fingerprints on development projects across the country, some have not worked in their area of specialization. Mr Negasi said the huge expense of equipping students with the necessary knowledge would only be productive when graduates were assigned to areas of their competence and the center worked hard for a better outcome.
The training center has made remarkable progress and what students love the most about the center are the comprehensive and special courses that have transformed their lives. The number of workshops at the training center has increased over the years, from five to 23, to accommodate more trainees and provide trainees with spacious space for practice.
Students representative of the six regions of the country visit the center each year to see the huge investments made to expand the workshops and enable students to acquire technical skills in various fields. More and more students have expressed an interest in joining the center and enjoying its life-changing experience. Mr. Negasi said the centre’s doors are always open for interested students.