By Augustine Mbitila
On 10th June 2022, a total of 31 students studying Leather Products Technology and one staff of the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) Mwanza Campus in Tanzania were sent to Kisumu National Polytechnic in Kenya for a one-month student and staff exchange. The regional students and staff exchange programme under EASTRIP was undertaken by the Centre for Excellence in Leather Processing and Allied Technologies (CELPAT) in line with the project objectives.
In the entire time of stay at Kisumu National Polytechnic, the students had an opportunity to learn and acquire new skills related to fashion and design technology. The skills covered were: Observe Workplace Safety, Prepare for Tie & Dye Process, Prepare Fabric, Prepare Dye Bath, Conduct Tie & Dye, Perform Post Treatment, Finish Tie & Dye and Perform Housekeeping.
During a farewell ceremony, the Kisumu National Polytechnic administration apart from other official certificates, awarded students of DIT Mwanza a memorable gift of a professionally, a well-designed and colourful cake as it looks in Figure 4 below.
To reciprocate, 33 students of the Fashion and Design Technology course and one staff from the Kisumu National Polytechnic participated in students and staff exchange program at DIT Mwanza Campus for a 21-day and 30 days respectively. Students at the Mwanza Campus were taught on how Fashion Design is integrated to Leather Products.
Kisumu National Polytechnic students on arrival in Kenya posing for a photo showing their leather school shoes they made while at DIT Mwanza Campus in Tanzania
At DIT Mwanza Campus, students from Kisumu National Polytechnic were taught three different areas of Leather Products; basic shoe making, sandals and belt manufacturing. To make a shoe and to prepare a sandal, students learned three stages in order to finish the product from the raw materials. The stages were; Design, pattern cutting and assembling. For the case of belt, they learned four stages, that is, measuring the width, sizing, Pattern cutting and belt finishing. After 21 days, they achieved the set objectives and were able to produce products.
The writer is a Communication Officer for EASTRIP at DIT Mwanza.