SAAM Seminar in Brussels: The beginning of the capacity building process in VET between Africa & Europe
The Supporting Alliance for African Mobility (SAAM) Seminar: “Capacity Building for Leadership in VET Mobility between Africa and Europe” took place between February 14-18, 2022 in Brussels, hosted by EfVET. The seminar gathered more than 50 people from 20 different countries. Directors and coordinators from VET centers in 13 African and 7 European countries were provided with a training seminar throughout the whole week.
The event started on Monday, 14th February, with a warm welcome from Alfredo Garmendia (San Viator), Miguel Santos (Asociación Mundus), and Stefano Tirati (EfVET Vice President – Projects). The first session was followed by short interventions on partnership between Africa and Europe, given by Theodor Grassos (EVBB), Fr. George Tharaniyil (Don Bosco Tech Africa) and Renato Cursi (Don Bosco International).
Afterwards, the participants had the opportunity to listen to two valuable and enriching presentations. The first one focused on “Capacity Building in VET Education: A new Erasmus action is opened in Africa”, by Michèle Grombeer, Head of the Skills Sector Unit A2 – Erasmus+: Platforms, Skills & Innovation, European Commission, EACEA. She introduced a new Erasmus action opened in Africa, explaining the objectives, thematic areas, the budget and the Commission requirements of international cooperation projects.
The second one was presented by João Santos, Senior Expert, Vocational education and training, European Commission, DG-EMPL about how TVET is going to be a driver for innovation and how it is growing in the future. Mr Santos pointed out that the Platform of Centres of Vocational Excellence is an opportunity to contribute to Skills ecosystems for innovation, regional development, and social inclusion.
Workshops were the highlights of the second day of the seminar. Three rounds and three different groups sharing and discussing on the following topics: 1) Project Design, by Sergio Lagarde (Asociación Mundus); 2) Dissemination and Communication, by Valentina Chanina and Vittoria Valentina Di Gennaro (EfVET), and 3) Project Management and Implementation, by Claire Challande (SEPR).
The third day was dedicated to a cultural visit. In the morning, participants had the opportunity to visit the Don Bosco Sint-Denijs-Westrem VET school in Ghent, and in the afternoon we visited the beautiful city of Bruges.
On Thursday, February 17, the session started with a brief intervention of Milagrosa Pérez and Sergio Lagarde, on the impact of international mobility on students. Then, two different workshops were run: one regarding Internationalisation and Mobility Learning in a VET school, by Heidi Jokinen (Kpedu), and another one about Mobility of students in VET programs, by Mirco Trielli and Thais Dutra (YesForum).
Last, but definitely not least, Heidi Buerskens and Claire Herrmann delivered a presentation about “Strategic Partnership between Europe & Africa Investment in TVET Education.”: present and future.
The seminar ended on Friday, February 18, but there were still some activities prepared for that day. During the morning session, the team from Centro San Viator presented one of the work packages of the SAAM project related to “Capacity Building for VET staff”. Members from Asociación Mundus presented another work package regarding the “Mobility of the African students to Europe”. Afterwards, Carina Oliveira (Insignare) provided an overview on what an International Department in a VET school is and how to do a good action plan.
In the afternoon, EfVET President, Prof Joachim James Calleja and members from the Board of EfVET introduced EfVET and its work to all the attendees and thanked everyone for their participation in the seminar.
It was time, then, to evaluate and close the course of a week full of work, effort and reward.