Computers for Chipole Vocational Training Centre in Tanzania
Songea, Tanzania
The Chipole vocational training centre once started as an informal craft school and has gradually evolved into a more formal government-recognized technical school. A condition for this recognition is that lessons in computer skills are added to the curriculum of the various vocational courses.

An amount of € 4,200 was required to purchase the necessary equipment, such as computers, printers and modems.

Project has successfully been executed
Amount collected: € 4.200,-

Sponsors: KWA bedrijfsadviseurs

Project information
The situation
The Chipole vocational training centre is an educational institution that offers high-quality, affordable or free vocational education to underprivileged young people, including orphans, children with disabilities, young people with HIV / AIDS and young people who have completed primary school but have no chance to further education. The school is located in the rural district of Songea in the southern highlands of Tanzania. The population lives from agriculture, both growing crops and keeping livestock. The school’s target group is the rural youth of the Songea rural district. The school was set up step by step by the local people themselves through volunteer work.
The importance of the project
The school initially provided only informal vocational training and gradually more formal government-recognized vocational training. For full government recognition, students must also learn ICT skills. The school plans to purchase computers and other related equipment to provide computer courses. The computer courses will complement the five existing vocational training courses. Recognition by the government makes it also possible for students that completed their education at the Chipole Vocational Training Centre, if desired, to continue their studies in higher professional education. The Van Doorn Foundation wants to help this organization to purchase the necessary resources and set up the compulsory computer courses and thereby becoming a training centre recognized by the government.
The implementing organisation
The Chipole vocational training centre was founded in 1991 by Sisters of the Benedictine Order. The school was registered in 2012 and fully recognized in 2019 (under condition). The school had to make the commitment to add computer skills to the curriculum and to provide the necessary lessons. The school offers three-year courses in “tailoring”, “carpentry”, “plumbing”, “auto mechanics”, and “electrical installations and welding”.

The school has approximately 140 students and has eight classrooms, two dormitories and four lodgings for teachers. Two additional classrooms are under construction, one of which is later used for the computer courses.

The envisaged project results
The goal of this project is for the school to add lessons in computer skills to the school’s curriculum, in accordance with the condition that the government attaches to full school recognition. To achieve that goal:

  • The community builds an extra classroom;
  • The classroom for the computer courses will be furnished with all necessary equipment, such as computers, printers, modems and internet connection, allowing to provide good quality teaching;
  • An instructor be appointed with knowledge and experience in teaching the use of computers and computer programs; and
  • Students will acquire knowledge and skills in computer and computer programs; thus, obtaining a recognized diploma and able to use this knowledge and these skills in the practice of their profession.
The chance of sustainability
The organization already has classrooms, workshops, dormitories and accommodation for the teachers. The congregation is currently building two additional classrooms, one of which is for computer courses. The church community provides the necessary food for the students and teachers every day. In addition, the church community makes funds available for the maintenance of buildings and / or tools. Through the contribution of the church community, the school tries to keep the tuition fees as minimal as possible. On average, € 150 per course is requested. For the three-year course this is approximately € 5 per student per month.

The intended practical-oriented training courses must enable students to make assignments, deliver products that can be sold, and generate the necessary income for the centre to pay for the course material themselves.

Progress of the project
KWA Bedrijfsadviseurs made € 4,000 available and a few private sponsors the remaining € 200.

With part of the grant (€ 2,800) Chipole vocational training centre procured some equipment to initiate the computer training. The remaining grant (€ 1,400) was made available six months later, to expand the capacity of the computer training to planned capacity. The initial training started in August 2020, and as of January 2021 all students can attend the mandatory computer training.

The results
For a government recognition, the Chipole vocational training centre had to add computer  lessons to the curriculum of the various vocational training courses, which it succeeded to do with the support of this project. Now that the Internet is available, teachers and students have also access to online learning resources and the educational process has become more effective, with online video demonstrations and PowerPoint presentations via a projector. Teachers and students are very enthusiastic.