Equip students with knowledge, practical experience - DTI urges technical universities

BY: Joshua Bediako Koomson
Some students who joined the the DTI summer internship programme demonstrating to the judges how the artefact they produced at the end of the internship project can be used
Some students who joined the the DTI summer internship programme demonstrating to the judges how the artefact they produced at the end of the internship project can be used

The Industry and Workplace Coordinator of the Design and Technology Institute (DTI), Mr. Mubarack Ahmed, has urged technical universities to focus on the practical aspect of their training programmes.

That, he said, would help equip the students with the knowledge and practical experience to enable them to succeed in the world of work.

Currently, he observed that what the technical students were learning in school was different from what industry required of them, indicating that they were being taught the theoretical aspect of the technical courses while industry required them to have relevant practical skills.

“Now we don’t even have welders who can work on water so when our ships become faulty at sea, we have to invite foreigners to come and work on them. Meanwhile we have young acts who can do this so we impact such knowledge into them,” the Industry and Workplace Coordinator of the school, Mr. Ahmed said.

Internship programme

He was speaking in Accra on September 10 at the closing ceremony of a summer internship programme which was organised by the school.

One hundred and thirteen students drawn from the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Fashion and Design Department of the Ho Technical University and the Takoradi Technical University participated in the programme.

The objective of the internship programme was to expose the students to industry experience to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

As part of the programme, the students were taken through a one-month intensive training in different categories and areas including welding and fabrication as well as equipping them with soft skills such as teamwork, resilience, discipline as well as others that are considered relevant for the world of work.

Industrialisation agenda

Mr. Ahmed noted that Ghana was driving towards an industrialisation agenda to ensure that all the local products were able to compete on the international market.

As a result of that, he urged schools to enhance their technical and vocational courses to help feed the various industries with workers who were well equipped with knowledge.

Mr. Ahmed noted that although the students were in level 300 in their various schools, most of them were not confident and didn’t have the spirit of teamwork in them.

Due to that, he said for their first assignment, the institute took them on an industrial trip to some industries to identify problems and come up with innovative solutions as a team on how to address them.

Mr. Ahmed said through that the institute was able to instill in them the spirit of teamwork.

Also, he said most of the Mechanical Engineering students didn’t have any skills in welding, however, after the course, he claimed they could now develop innovative projects through welding to solve problems.

“This internship offers students an opportunity to equip themselves with pragmatic industry experience that will help them to be able to secure jobs in the world of work,” Mr. Ahmed said.