In May, eight West Coast TVET College Engineering & Related Design, Electrical Infrastructure Construction, and Electrical Engineering and Automotive students departed for China. They left in order to participate in a one-year Chinese Culture Centre & merSETA Internship Programme.
The aim of the programme is to provide the students with on-the-job experience. They will spend the first six months with a university for the theory component and the second, with various Chinese companies for the practical component.
Participating students are Simpiwe Sinkempele, Mzimasi Jilingisi, Dillon van Niekerk, Onodwa Jako, Marshal Jooste, Inga Sicetshe, Marthinus Beukes and Zannevan Cowan from Atlantis, Vredendal and Citrusdal campuses, respectively.
The College held a send-off event for the students and their parents at the Central Office in Malmesbury. They were given background information on the programme and on China’s cultural do’s and don’ts.
Deputy CEO for Innovation and Development, Rhazia Hamza shared her own travel experiences with the students, giving them booklets and guideline documents. She explained that the programme was a result of a fruitful partnership between the College and merSETA. “Our mission is to see you successful because when you succeed, we also succeed. You must learn new things over there.
You also need to write down your expectations and goals beforehand so that when you come back, you are in a better position to reflect on what you have achieved and the experience that you have gained,” she added.
Twenty-one-year-old Dillon, who hails from Delft, a crime-ridden area of Cape Town, said this was a great opportunity for him to be able to change his circumstances back home. “I feel that this is a great opportunity for me. When I come back from China, I want to be able to better myself and help those around me to also achieve greatness as well,” he said.
Inga, who is from a small administrative area called Bhaziya, near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape Province, said she first thought this was a scam. “I only believed it when we went for the induction. My parents are very excited for me. I am over the moon because it will be my first time on board a plane and my first time going beyond the borders of the country,” she said.
Onodwa’s father, Luvuyo Matshisi, said he was excited for his daughter. She would learn to be independent. He said there was a lot of Chinese know-how. His daughter would be in a good position to be able to bring that experience home. He was however worried about Onodwa’s spiritual life as they were told that churches were not allowed in China. “I am very concerned about her spiritual journey, but we will always keep her in our prayers. We know that the Lord will go with her. I am very grateful to the College that it is able to create such opportunities for our children, as we never had them,” he said.
Acting Principal Mbulawa, told the students to not undermine themselves. “Always know that you were specially selected to participate. Learn as much as possible and do not forget that you are ambassadors of the College, the Western Cape Province and the Country at large”.
Sourced from TVET College Times – Volume 54