Lots to learn from the conference about greening TVET

Dr. Edwin Tarno
Chief Principal

The 2017 RVTTI International TVET and Interdisciplinary Conference will champion the theme: Towards Collaborative TVET: Promoting Accelerated Sustainable Development. It is crucial to note that in this year’s conference, we have partnered with UNEVOC with the aim of accelerating the concept of sustainability in development. In this connection, the research projects that were submitted under the subtheme: Greening TVET: Best Practices and Case Studies, were entered into the UNEVOC Competition for the Project Award. Therefore, the papers that meet the threshold will be considered for the award. This will facilitate the process of incubation and help develop the prototype to commercial levels to meet the needs of society. As a regional pace setter and a centre of excellence, RVTTI is gearing towards the Green Revolution. We are installing solar systems in some of our areas of operation. Of course, this has great pecuniary implications. Because of this, we are taking small but strong strides towards this.
We are also in the process of carrying out a Sustainable Development Goal Status Survey to establish the levels of sustainability in all our areas of operation, and to determine the degree of awareness of staff and students. This survey will enable us to determine and prioritise our needs of sustainability, appropriately. Apart from that, we have a vision of transforming RVTTI into a Green campus. This will entail having an RVTTI Green policy framework, which will be reflected in among other things, in our water, energy and waste management practices. Where possible, we shall move towards establishing stand-alone green short courses through our newly formed department of External Linkages and Virtual Studies. We are in the process of sensitising the RVTTI fraternity to embrace green practice in our day to day activities, in a bid to creating a Green campus, and therefore, a green community, with green culture.
We are of course aware that this is a giant leap to take, but not an impossible one. It is because of this that we appeal to our partners to support us and facilitate our vision. In our conference this year, papers have been presented to showcase greening best practices and case studies in dynamic support of urban city accessibility tools to make cities accessible to the physically impaired, and by so doing, give visibility to them. There are also papers that embed business, industry, agriculture and waste matter treatment to sustainable practices.
The conference will illuminate TVET as a driver to implementing sustainable development as is demonstrated by the master craft practicum in Uganda, together with showing the importance of engaging the private sector and industry in green skill development in India and Nigeria. We will interact with scholars from other nations, who will showcase how this has helped to reduce the menace of unemployment. From South Africa, we have papers that reflect the importance of having a hands-on teaching of sciences by letting students design and construct simple scientific equipment that can be used to demonstrate science concepts in the classrooms, instead of using the high-tech ready-made equipment that make learners mere knowledge consumers.
We will also manifest the importance of transition from competency to competency in interrelated disciplines, such as from electrician to mechatronics technicians, from project assistance to project designer, through life-long education. Above all, we will also showcase how TVET can accelerate development by reorienting the informal sector to create decent jobs in line with the SDGs.
Other papers cover sustainable energy consumption, sustaining the water resources, sustainable agriculture and pest control to raise food security, and sustainable health practices. For this and other papers, we open our doors to all.