Sault College’s Partnerships in Tanzania Continue to Reach Milestones

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(Sault Ste. Marie, ON April 24, 2018) – Sault College is continuing its work on two unique international projects in Tanzania.  Through the hard-work and dedication of Sault College staff and students, the project has reached many impressive milestones.

In April 2016, Sault College teamed up with Parkland College from Saskatchewan to assist Arusha Technical College (ATC) with the development of a “Pre-Technology program” that will enable their students to transition from Vocational schools to Technical college programs.

This program – which allows Tanzanian students to access higher levels of education – will be piloted by ATC in May.  “It is a very exciting and worthwhile initiative, as it has the potential to become the National model for continuing education in Tanzania,” said Jane Sippell, International Project Manager at Sault College.

Sault College has also partnered with Pwani Regional Vocational Training and Service Centre (Pwani RVTSC) to develop a three year Process Automation and Instrumentation Technologist program to enhance technical training and skills for residents of Tanzania. This program will help to better prepare their students for employment in the growing industrial sector.

In February 2018, two of Sault College’s Digital Film Production students Patrick Tucker and Danial O’Brien had the incredible opportunity of traveling to Tanzania to assist on these projects. The duo visited both project sites, completing over 50 short interviews with students and faculty and filmed material for over 25 individual programs.

Together Patrick and Danial developed a short video promoting the Pre-Technology program at ATC and a second video that is specifically designed to encourage women to enrol in the Technical training programs.  Both videos will be used for marketing purposes throughout Tanzania. They also delivered workshops to over 250 Tanzanian students on how to utilize social media to promote entrepreneurial initiatives in Tanzania.

Their experiences in Tanzania were one-of-a-kind and will not soon be forgotten by the pair. “Being involved with this project has been the highlight of my two years at Sault College,” said Patrick Tucker, second year Digital Film Production student. “Opportunities like this are rare and we (Danial and I) owe much of our experience to the support and persistence of our Program Coordinator Candice Day, the tireless work of the International Project Manager Jane Sippell and the countless new friends we made in Tanzania. It was evident early on that these projects were worthy initiatives and we knew that any involvement on our part would be fulfilling both personally and professionally,” he added.

Patrick and Danial not only gained professional experience from this project, but also an incredible appreciation of the importance of access to education.  “The students we met were excited and proud to be learning technical skills because they understand the significance it has on their families and communities. They know the direction they are headed in, and their determination to get there was inspiring. Any future success that Tanzania sees will be because of the ambition of its people,” said Patrick.

In addition to the amazing work done by Patrick and Danial, several other Sault College employees have been instrumental in these partnerships.

In August 2017, Sault College’s Electrical Engineering professors Ron Chartrand and Mark Allemang, along with Project Manager Jane Sippell, travelled to Tanzania to establish a much needed computer lab at Pwani RVTSC.

“This up-to-date computer lab is instrumental in providing a strong foundation on which to deliver their new Process Automation and Instrumentation Technologist program,” said Allemang.

Ron and Jane returned to Tanzania in February 2018 to assist in the establishment of a Program Advisory committee for Pwani RVTSC. Having a number of Tanzanian Industry Leaders involved in an advisory capacity will assist Pwani RVTSC to ensure the curriculum is addressing the needs of local industry. “It will provide opportunities for faculty professional development and for student placements, and assist Pwani RVTSC to raise funds or donations for lab equipment, scholarships and other program needs. Ultimately the Program Advisory committee will help to ensure the sustainability of the program,” said Chartrand.

Sault College is extremely proud of these partnerships and the remarkable work of our staff and students in various aspects of these projects. The benefits are far-reaching and will not only assist Tanzanians in reaching their national goal of becoming an industrial country by the year 2025, but also offer tremendous opportunities for personal and professional growth of all involved.

“The work of our staff and students on these projects has been tremendous. Their passion and enthusiasm has been evident throughout and has guided its success. Sault College is honoured to be able to assist Tanzania with their educational goals, while affording our students and staff the opportunity to learn and develop their skills,” said Dr. Ron Common, President, Sault College.

The progressive partnerships between Sault College, Pwani RVTSC and ATC are sponsored by a three year grant from Global Affairs Canada. The projects are made possible through the Improved Skills Training for Employment Program, which is managed by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).