A warm welcome to this week’s edition of your favourite Column ‘Disability does not mean inability’. In today’s edition, we bring a report on a training workshop designed to sensitise and positively influence attitudinal change among community members towards technical and vocational training (TVET); to encourage youths to take up TVET as sustainable livelihood and to exhibit potentials in persons with Disabilities in order to promote inclusion particularly in TVET. Read on.
The event witnessed showcasing of talents by persons with disabilities, demonstrating their talents in various skills such as tailoring, hair dressing and door mat weaving. This is part of the programme highlighted potentials in persons with disabilities by refuting the highly held notion that persons with disabilities have nothing or little to offer to society. The main objective of the skills demonstration was meant to serve as an inspiration for persons with disabilities to embark on skills training as a source of employment and a means of earning sustainable livelihoods. It also introduced participants to the idea of inclusion for persons with disabilities as well to see them as productive members of society.
Muhammed Jallow, a wheelchair user, uses sewing machine to demonstrate about his work as a trained professional tailor. He displayed clothes and garments that he has sewn himself. He also narrated his ordeal and how he was trained to become a qualified tailor.
Adama Njie, who was born deaf and now works as a qualified hair dresser, demonstrated her skills in hair dressing. During the demonstration she said, although she is a profound deaf person who cannot hear sound, she communicates through sign language. He noted that her condition did not serve as barrier to her personal development. She commended her parents for being supportive to her.
Abdoudul Aziz Faal, who is visually impaired, demonstrated his skills in door mat making. He said that since he acquired the skills, he has been able to live an independent life by making ends meet for him without asking for alms or begging.
Another important part of the programme was the exhibition of the NTA apprenticeship programme. This part of the programme created the platform for the National Training Authority to introduce their new apprenticeship programmes designed for skills training and youths.
The NTA representative, Almami Kinteh, used the opportunity to inform participants about the mandate of his office. He highlighted that in order to reinforce skills training, his office has been given the mandate to regulate and formalize skills trainings and apprenticeship. The new apprenticeship by NTA is a significant milestone to eliminate the traditional type in the country where a trainee spends most of his time in a vocational field without getting certificated.
This new initiative will give trainees or apprentices the opportunity to specialize in a particular skill area within three years and be certificated.
The day also created opportunity for participants to interact, asked questions and share ideas on various topics discussed by presenters.