By Mesay Tilahun
One of the key successes with this institute – industry linkage was the achievement on teachers’ industrial attachment which is one of the intermediate results of the project. Regarding this for the project life time (5 years) a total of 22 staff were planned to attach with industries. Based on the MoU signed with industries so far, Dire Dawa Polytechnic College, EASTRIP PIU identified the skill gaps of teachers in the college and accordingly 14 teachers were attached with 5 industries for 45 days for work place practical training. The industries being selected were those which are in line with the project priority programs.
During the attachment industries provided teachers Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for safety regulations, assign senior industry experts for the practical training and the attachment was undertook in a great hospitality by the industries. The other important success was activities done to institutionalize the industry linkage. In his regard, two key activities were implemented which supports the industries to enhance their engagement. During the industrial attachment, the teachers identified the industries’ problem which can be addressed by themselves and some of the teachers have already solved the problems and the other teachers prepared a proposal for the solutions.
For instance the College’s manufacturing department teachers who had industrial attachment in Dire Dawa Food Complex Share Company identified that there was non-functional biscuit manufacturing machine due to broken spar part which could not be found on the market.
The teachers then produced the machine spare part (Fly Finger) in the College training workshop and increased the company’s productivities. In addition to this the teachers produced a machine spare part with a minimum cost for Konel Soap Factory. This problem solving activities indeed motivated the industries to make a strong linkage with the College. Furthermore the other teachers assigned in Dire Dawa National Cement Factory SC for industrial attachment identified that there was a problem of garage layout in the factory and hence the teachers prepared a modern garage design with detail specification and handed over for the factory.The second acti vity executed to enhance the private industries engagement was providing capacity building short-term training for the industries’ technologists.
Accordingly Dire Dawa Polytechnic College provided short-term training for industries’ technologies selected from different industries that had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the College. The training was carried out on advanced welding; Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG), Metal Active Gas (MAG), Manual Metal Arc (MMA) welding and Computerized Numerically Controlled (CNC) Lathe and Milling as well as Pneumatic and Hydraulic. During the training the industries management members visited their workers while training and they explained that this mutual collaboration will strengthen industrial-institutions linkage.
The activities executed above contributed to the achievement of the project targets. The major success of the project is measured by the achievement of the project development objectives/PDO and the intermediate result/IR indicators. The number of demand driven program developed and the number of teaching staff who had industrial attachment are the two outcomes achieved earlier to the targeted year.
In general – Institute – Industry linkage created in Dire Dawa Polytechnic College strengthens and institutionalized as it is based on the mutual benefits of both parties. The strong and institutionalized Institute – Industry linkage indeed enhanced the demand driven program development and the teachers’ practical training during industrial attachment which in turn is contributing for the improvement of the quality and the increment of the access of TVET programs in the College.
The Writer is the EASTRIP Project Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist