Parkland College is pleased to have concluded a successful visit with a guest from a college in the East African nation of Tanzania.
Hamisi Kamando with the Mineral Resources Institute (MRI) in Dodoma, Tanzania, was at Parkland College May 23-26. Kamando, who serves as Deputy Principal of Academics, Research, and Consulting, stopped in Saskatchewan to see how Parkland College works with the local mining industry. During his stay, he toured local potash mines at Mosaic and PotashCorp sites.
Much like Saskatchewan, agriculture plays an important role in Tanzania’s economy. But mining is the focus of growth in Kamando’s country, with mineral exports accounting for more than half of Tanzania’s national exports. And, just as in Saskatchewan, such growth requires the creation of skilled graduates from the MRI to sustain the sector’s expansion.
While visiting Parkland College, Kamando noted that there are many differences between the mining sectors and skills training in Canada and Tanzania. He said the industry orientation which is common in Saskatchewan is not in place in Tanzania. Kamando was also impressed by Parkland College’s essential skills training, to the point that the MRI plans to customize it and add it to its courses in the future.
Kamando acknowledged various challenges facing Tanzania, including a lack of technical personnel to work in the industry. He expressed a desire to move from knowledge-based schooling to competency based training. Currently there are two university bachelor degree graduates for every technical graduate.
To improve on that goal, the MRI has an active partnership with College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, BC through the Association of Canadian Community Colleges and the Canadian International Development Agency. William Litchfield, Director of Advancement at Parkland College notes that “Parkland College has a long standing partnership with College of the Rockies in the development and delivery of international development projects in East Africa.” It is expected that the support from College of the Rockies and Parkland College will lead to better skills training and delivery, growth in research and consultation, increased understanding of the needs of industry, and mentorship in management and leadership.
Litchfield adds that “the challenges that colleges face are very similar across the world, and partnerships like this one with the Mineral Resources Institute allow for all partners to learn and share best practices in delivering skills based education.”
Kamando maintains that the project is a work in progress. He’s hoping to extend the partnership to accomplish several incomplete goals, including the establishment of an electronic library, distance learning, gender mainstreaming, and increased funding.
Parkland College offers the largest off-campus university program in Saskatchewan, as well as an array of educational programs and services to adult learners including SIAST and Institute programs, Industry programs, Adult Basic Education, Literacy, English as an Additional Language and Career and Student Services.