Vocational Centers [Archives:1998/32/Reportage]

August 10 1998

The vocational training issue is actually of great significance because of the crucial role of the qualified human element in the overall development strategy. Its main purpose is the creation of a self-sufficient society. We believe vocational centers in Yemen should contribute a lot to the development and welfare of the country.
The General Authority for Vocational and Technical Training (GAVTT) is a government authority, financially and administratively autonomous. The minister of Labor and Vocational Training is the chairman of the board of directors.
GAVTT is responsible for the management, planning, organizing, and steering of the vocational and technical training process in all Yemen. Its aim is to develop and upgrade human resources in different fields, specializations and trades to the levels of semi-skilled and skilled craftsmen and technicians. The ultimate goal is to meet the social and economic requirements and to satisfy the labor market’s needs. GAVTT is also responsible for setting national standards concerning curricula and training programs and developing the system for job classification. I is also responsible for technically supervising the private and public institutions and accrediting their certificates.
GAVTT has around 23 vocational and technical training institutes and centers distributed all over the country. There are 4 centers in Sanaa, 5 in Aden, 3 in Hodeida, 2 in Taiz, 3 in Abyan, 3 in Hadhramaut, 2 in Lahaj, and 1 in Dhamar. Some of these institutes and centers accept students who finished basic schooling. They study for three years. Some other centers are meant for secondary-school graduates, who study for two years. The fields of study in these centers are agriculture, industry, commerce and veterinary.
Sanaa Industrial Institute
The Industrial Vocational Institute in Sanaa was established in 1967, but it was officially inaugurated in 1970. Around 2,500 students in 18 classes graduated from this institute. It includes many specializations like electricity, auto mechanics, mechanical production, air conditioning and refrigeration, masonry, roads and bridges and fine arts.
It is noticed that the number of applications for this institute is on the rise. Let us take last year as an example. The applicants were 1,000 but the number accepted was 175. This is actually distinguished from other institutes in the sense that the duration of study in it is 3 years.
Needs of the Institute
According to the director of the institute, Eng. Yahia Al-Shuhary, the institute lacks many facilities like regular maintenance, cleaning, water and sewage network, etc. It also needs many new technical systems and equipment. However, the number of the students wishing to join the institute is increasing constantly. The reason, according to Mr. Al-Shuhary, is that graduates of such vocational centers have better job opportunities.
The students are provided with housing and food, which is a good incentive for them to enroll. The students practice some extra-curricular activities like football, basketball and other activities. But there is no library. The health care in the institute is not sufficient. The students also complain about the shortage of furniture in the institute.
The food according Mr. Basem Taha Sulaiman, a student, is enough but of bad quality. But Mr. Khalid Ismail Al-Qadasy, General-Supervisor of Food, holds a different opinion. He says that the food is enough and cooked in special restaurants all over Yemen and under the supervision of health experts. The menu is provided by the International Food Program in collaboration with the Yemeni government.
Students’ Difficulties
As a matter of fact, students face many problems in their study. They complain about the lack of textbooks and absence of practical elements in their courses. Mr. Taher Shawkat Al-Bayyati, a teacher, thinks students coming from villages have no good basic education and ability to cope with city life. Some of them still cling to the outdated views towards work. He also believes that if the level of the students is to improved, the admission test and interview should be considered as a criterion in choosing the students. This is because there are students who are not fit for operating machines. The number of these centers should be increased and distributed equally all over the country and provided with hostels.
Female Students
According to the director of the institute, female students were there in the institute in the 1980s. There were 3 female students who joined the Construction Engineering Department. After graduation, they went to university. One of them traveled to the USA while the other two graduated from the faculty of engineering. But now no females have applied in the institute, although the institute doesn’t reject their presence.
By Faisal Ahmad Farhan