Sam Kasangaki is a man of many occupations : garage
owner, tractor dealer, mechanic, chairman and training coordinator. He directs Farmer’s
Engineering Solutions in Masindi, a garage where students from the surrounding
Vocational Technical Institutes (VTIs) gain practical experience.
Sam has been in the business for 25 years. At his garage students learn about welding, metal fabrication, electrical engineering and car maintenance. Throughout this year he had 60 students under his wings, coming from Kyema VTI in Masindi and Buhimba Technical College and St-Simon Peter Vocational Technical College in Hoima.
As Sam is clearly a master of his craft, he participated in a master crafts persons training organized by the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC). “I learned many things”, he says, “How to handle students , organize their courses and foresee safety measures. It has improved our organization of trainings. ” Because Sam is also the chairman of the Ugandan Small Scale Industry Association (USSIA) in Masindi, he is trying to organize testing facilities in his garage so students can prove their practical experience through a USSIA certified worker’s PAS. This PAS stands for the Practically Acquired Skills of a profession and is also recognized by the Ugandan government. It can open doors for students who dropped out of school but have obtained professional skills in other ways.
20-year old Victor Muganyizi studies electrical engineering and knows why he is at Sam’s garage: “I came here because I will actually learn something. In other companies they sometimes can’t teach you anything”. The Support to Skilling Uganda project of BTC is supporting the pedagogical training of mastercrafts persons, while coaching students to upgrade their skills, together with instructors from VTIs.