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Vocational School Empowers African Youth

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2023-09-18 17:03:43 | Author: LIANG Yilian

Experienced techniciansofSICOMINES S.A.givepractical demonstrations to the students.(PHOTO:SICOMINES S.A.)

By WANG Jianguo, ZHAO Jiuchun, CHEN Yu & LIANG Yilian

In the past Kapata, a village in Lualaba province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, didn’t have any reputed vocational school. Village youngsters were forced to travel to the city of Kolwezi 18 km away or to even more distant places for vocational education so that they could acquire skills and get good jobs.

Many students therefore ended their education and opted to look for work after completing junior high school, which meant they had to settle for lower wages and limited career prospects as they were unskilled.

Making dreams come true

But things changed in 2021. La Sino-Congolaise des Mines S.A.(SICOMINES S.A.), a joint venture (JV) with Chinese majority shares which includes enterprises like the China Railway Group and Power Construction Corporation of China as well as DRC mining companies, had been helping out the village. When Sicomines learned that Kapata wanted a vocational school of its own, it pledged to build the Kapata Industrial Technical School as a priority project as part of its “Code of Duties”. 

The project started in October 2021. In the first phase, completed in 10 months, 1.25 million USD was invested. In the second phase, 200,000 USD has been earmarked to provide equipment for the school.

"Thank you, Chinese friends, for such a good school,” a village youngster identified only as Ngoie, said. “After graduation, I can find a good job with the skills I have learned.”

Enrollment started in August 2022 and there are over 200 students now. Today, the school is an important technical skill cultivation base for the village.

Providing hands-on training

Sicomines carries out regular interactions with the school to share technical skills and knowledge. Teachers and students of the school visit the JV’s substation and auto repair factory for hands-on learning.

The school principal says students can learn a lot from Sicomine’s site, which improves their professional skills.

The company also sends experienced technicians to the school to give lectures and practical demonstrations, and discuss the problems the teachers and students face during the course to solve them.

Dikumbi, head of Kapata, is full of praise for Sicomines. “Whenever we need help, Sicomines always responds positively,” he told the media. “We have implemented many projects. Sicomines is our friend forever.”

Editor: 梁依莲

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