“TEACHING REAL SKILLS TO EMPOWER MALAWIANS”
Establishment of the College
Stephanons Vocational Training Centre (SVTC) is a subsidiary of Stephanos Foundation. It is an Institution that provides vocational training skills to all classes of youth in Malawi, including the vulnerable and the physically challenged. The SVTC was launched in 2002, with an aim of providing Vocational skills to the orphans. It started by offering Informal Training in three Basic trades of Bricklaying, Carpentry and Tailoring. In 2007 the institution was upgraded to a fully-fledged, nationally and internationally recognized Vocational Training Centre, then it got registered by TEVETA in 2008 as an accredited institution.
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The institution now offers is now nine courses namely: – Agriculture & Agribusiness, Horticulture, Electrical & Solar Installation, Hospitality & Tourism, Plumbing & Irrigation Pipelining, and Tailoring& Fashion designing, Community Development, Bricklaying, and Carpentry & Joinery.
The Examining bodies for the courses offered are TEVETA, Trade Test, Institute for Commercial Management (ICM), and DICLA-Agri- SETA, and ABMA.
Some of the courses are offered in the formal sector while some are offered in both formal and informal sections. Since its inception, the college has maintained the examination pass rate of between 85-100%, and an average rate of 65% employment for its graduates.
Income generating activities
The major source of the college finances is school fees, but the college has extra income generating activities such as an Agriculture department which generates farm produce for sale such as livestock and vegetables. In this time of covid -19, the institution is also mending masks for sale as part of generating income.
Some of the students undergoing training at the institution are vulnerable and they are supported by organisations such as Aquaid Lifeline, SOS Children’s Village Home, Timotheus, Teveta, Miqlat and GAIA. SVTC is also in partnership with GIZ, a German based organization which is championing for Agriculture & Agribusiness in Technical Colleges. There is also Verburg Charitas Foundation organisation based in Netherlands, which has constructed a hostel and a Study Centre. This will boost students’ enrolment and hence the finances of the institution.
The SVTC has an intake capacity of above 300 students per academic year both in the Formal and informal Training programs. The average gender distribution is 48% for females and 52% for Male students; however, many female students opt for non- Technical courses of Tailoring & Fashion Designing and Hospitality & Tourism, and Community Development. There are also more females than males in the Agriculture courses. However, the Institution encourages the females to aspire for the engineering courses as well.
SVTC as an organized institution
Stephanos College mission is to provide a Comprehensive Package of Vocational Education, Technical. Entrepreneurial and Communication Skills which are Equitably Accessed and are in line with Industrial Advancement and Biblical Principles
Stephanos College envisions its Graduates become Employable Human Resource; Successful Entrepreneurs and God Fearing Citizens in the Community they serve
- Integrity Christ Centered (Exhibit Brotherly Love Character in all conduct)
- (Professionalism at work place and beyond)
- Wardship (Self responsibility and Accountability)
- Dignity (Respect others Irrespective of age, ability, disability and gender)
- Quality (Effective & Efficient Service Delivery)
- Equity (Accessible programs based on proficiency level)
- Discipleship (Ideal Christianity and Willingness to learn and adopt new innovations)
- Unity (Team spirit in performance of duties)
Compliance and regulations
The main regulatory body of VTC is TEVETA. This ensures the institution adheres by the rules and regulations of Technical Education as far as quality Education is concerned. As such, SVTC is registered and accredited by the authority since 2008.
Core activities of the institution
SVTC institution hinges on the following core activities:
- Train Students in:
- Vocational and Technical skills
- Communication and Entrepreneurial skills
- Provision of Academic and Support Staff
- Adequate and well qualified Staff
- Effective Instructors who are Role models to students and colleagues
- Provision of Infrastructure and Accessories
- Adequate learning rooms, furniture and workshop benches
- Adequate Tools and Machinery
- Provision of adequate accommodation
- Provision of Teaching and Learning Resources
- Raw materials for practical lessons
- Prudent purchase and use of materials
- Availability of Instructors teaching resources
- Availability of Students learning and study resources
- Provision of Industrial Attachment Opportunity to students
- Essential element in training program to equip students with industrial knowledge
- Engaging and lobbying the Industry to provide attachment places for students
- Conducting Educational visits
- Linkage with other Institutions for students exchange learning programs
- Through sporting activities
- Through educational visits
- Develop Curricula to suit current demands of the Industry
- Through constant engagement with the industry
- Through use of internet information
- Through information from Standards organization like Malawi Bureau of Standards
- Through the adaptation of Millennium Development Goals
- Interaction with the Community through PTA Meetings
- To appreciate impact of the SC training programs within the Community
- To train students in their role of community social responsibility
Stephanos VTC is headed by the principal who is responsible for administrating daily operations of the Institution and she is assisted by the Deputy Principal who oversees the overall implementation of projects, trainings and students’ welfare. Below the Deputy Principal is the Secretary who collects and records school fees and other administrative issues. After the Secretary there are Instructors and Assistant Instructors who train the Students, Managing the class activities and assessing the performance of the students. Then comes the Matron and the patron who are responsible for the welfare of students, and then a Librarian. At the base we have an Office assistant, the Kitchen staff, and a ground worker.
Stephanos Vocational Training Centre (SVTC)
Courses offered this year: Plumbing, Electrical Installation, Textile Fashion& Design, Edible Horticulture, Aquaculture, Carpentry & Joinery, Community Development, and Hospitality & Tourism.
Enrolment: 244 students in January-June (119 males, and 125 females, in both formal and informal sections, with plumbing topping the list, and Hospitality & Tourism on bottom (expressed an interest to TEVETA to expand to food production). And a total of 228 students from July to December in both informal and informal sections (excludes GIZ GmBS program where 167 were trained.
Staffing: VCT so far has a total 26 employees, 24 full time, 1 part time, and I temporary. This year, the staff members have undergone different in-service trainings, aimed at changing their mind-set (from NGO to business thinking), and refreshers on quality delivery training.
Examination results: This year VTC has scored 80% in TEVET exams, 100% in H&T, and 91% in Community Development.
Finances: VTC is still fairing WELL despite devaluation, the effects will be manifested towards the end of this year. To mitigate the effect, it is proposing to the board a fee hike of 20% in the 2023 academic year (from K185, 000 to K220,000).
Horticulture: The department managed to secure a 25-million-kwacha funding, which has been used to make investments like drip irrigation and tilling more land. A 5-year plan was made towards making profit.
TEVET Consortium projects: Job & Business centre is doing well in assisting students with attachments and business plans. Phase 3 construction project starts end October or early November (boys ‘hostel, old hostel finishing) and staff members’ capacity building.
Major VTC need: An investment in classroom and workshop equipment, a boost in the infrastructure like classrooms and hostels, staff members upgrading. The department implores the Malawi board to assist in securing funding to upgrade VTC to standards befitting a National Technical College.
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