Celebrating International Education Day

Celebrating International Education Day

This International Education Day, we celebrate the dedicated educators worldwide who play a pivotal role in equipping youth with industrial skills.

Empowering youth through education is at the heart of UNIDO’s skills development initiatives. This International Education Day, we celebrate the dedicated educators worldwide who play a pivotal role in equipping youth with industrial skills. We showcase vocational training educators in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, who are shaping their country’s development with the support of UNIDO’s skills development training and innovative curricula. 

Sierra Leone: Bridging the Skills Gap in Automotive Maintenance 

In Sierra Leone, the, ‘Promoting Youth Employment through Automotive Maintenance Skills Training,’ project funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by UNIDO is partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone, is bridging the skills gap within the automotive repair and maintenance industry. The project focuses on establishing a regional Center of Excellence to provide modern vocational training, enhancing employment prospects for youth, women, and disadvantaged groups. 

A key aspect of the project is the capacity building of management staff and instructors at the Government Technical Institute (GTI) Freetown Polytechnic. Simeone Lissa, an instructor, shared his experience: “I learned different things that I have never learned in my country, like how to overhaul an engine and what are the steps to take before doing the overhauling and the measurement. I look forward to passing on this knowledge to my students.” 

The capacity building training, spanning five countries and covering 17 technical modules, has empowered instructors to adopt innovative teaching methods. This, in turn, enhances the quality of education, ensuring students acquire industry-relevant skills for success in Sierra Leone’s automotive industry. 

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Liberia: Empowering Women in Carpentry 

In Liberia, UNIDO’s Youth Rising project is challenging stereotypes and inspiring change. Esther G.I Javillie, a civil engineer turned professional carpentry and joinery instructor, exemplifies the project’s impact. Despite initial skepticism about training in furniture making, Esther recognized the value in pursuing this unconventional path. 

Esther’s motivation to become a Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) teacher stems from her desire to empower individuals. She challenges gender stereotypes, believing that traditionally male-dominated jobs, like carpentry, can be successfully performed by women. Esther underwent comprehensive training in South Africa, acquiring the skills and confidence to contribute to Liberia’s carpentry sector. The European Union and the Government of Sweden, through UNIDO’s Youth Rising project, provided crucial support to Esther’s journey. 

Expressing her gratitude, Esther said, “Thank you for your generous gift. It is through your contributions that I am acquiring a lifelong skill that will help me better my life.” Esther’s journey from civil engineering to carpentry instruction showcases her determination to break barriers and empower others, shaping a more inclusive landscape in technical and vocational education. 

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Democratic Republic of Congo: Advancing Heavy Equipment Skills Through Innovative Training 

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, UNIDO, the Government of Sweden, the Government of the DRC, Volvo Group and Epiroc have joined forces to address skills gaps and promote youth employment in the heavy-duty equipment sector.  

Two vocational training centres, the National Institute for Professional Training (INPP) in Lubumbashi and the Institut Technique Industriel de Manika (ITIMA) in Kolwezi, are being supported with upgraded facilities, training equipment and modernized curricula to deliver high-quality training that aligns with the labour market’s needs. 

Trainers from the INPP recently received advanced training at SMT, the exclusive distributor of Volvo Group in the DRC. Over a 6-week period, INPP trainers shadowed qualified SMT mechanics, technicians, and engineers, gaining practical, hands-on experience in heavy-duty equipment maintenance. This innovative training equips TVET trainers with the skills needed to prepare Congolese youth for the workplace. 

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