The Department of Architecture and Physical planning, College of Engineering Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) convened a two day training and awareness session for Masons and Fundis as a way of sharing scientific knowledge, ideas and new ways of construction drawing from the research experiences in the college.
The event, the first of its kind attracted a number of stakeholders in the building industry that made an exhibition of the various building materials on the market. They included Uganda Clays Ltd, Hima Cement, steel and Tube, The National Building Review Board, the National Physical Planning Board, Simba Cement and Kansai Palscon Paint.
Prof Barnabas Nawangwe an Architect by profession officiated the opening of the training on Thursday 9th-2-2022 in the CEDAT Conference room. He said the training was timely because Fundis and Manson handle most of the construction in Uganda following a construction boon since the 1990s. He observed that on most of the construction sites, there were no engineers or architects and therefore it was important that frontline people in the building industry were equipped with extra skills.
Prof. Nawangwe advised the fundis and masons to learn to appreciate the drawings that show what needs to be done on sites and ensure that they are adhered unless advised otherwise.He said masons and fundis were every important people in the communities although they did not get the opportunity to get trained in technical institution but rather learnt on job. He argued the college and partners to devise means of extending the training country wide as one of the ways through which the University wouldtransfer knowledge and offer community service in line with objective of being responsive to the needs of the communities.
Prof. Nawangwe congratulated CEDAT for the initiative and the planned extension of similar sessions to other artisans that include Mechanics, Electricians and Plumbers. He said this was in line with the government objective of skilling the youth and thereby creating employment opportunities.
While speaking at the same event, The Principal CEDAT Prof Henry Alinaitwe said as the University celebrates 100 years, the College was working towards realizing the original objectives of the university which started as a technical college producing technicians. He said Makerere University was well established to offer training, research and knowledge transfer partnerships and that such trainings were some of the ways through which the university was reaching out to the people on the ground.
According to Dr. Tamale Kiggundu Amin, the Head of Department Architecture and Physical Planning in CEDAT, the plan is to train One hundred thousand fundis and masons drawn from Kampala metropolitan area. He said the trainings would also create a learning opportunity for students drawing from the experiences of the fundis most of whom learn on job but also help the fundis to acquire more skills adding onto what they learnt informally.
The participants were instructed through a number of areas that included Building Codes, Ventilation, doors, reading and interpretation of building plans, safety on the construction sites among others.
The Director, Directorate of Industrial training (DIT) Ministry of Education and Sports Mr. Byakatonda while officiating at the closure of the training on Friday 11th February 2022 said the masons and fundis were products of the self-teaching universities in the communities and that the cooperation with the formal Universities like Makerere was important in the discussion of the issues affecting the industry. ‘We believe that our students doing courses like Architecture had a lot to learn from the fundis’ he said and that this would help them redress some of the challenges they face when they go out to the field of work with no practical experience. He said DIT gives Industrial qualifications and that the industry needed skills and quality work and offered to issue DIT certificates to the participants at no cost.
The trainings is one of the many that will see the College set up a Technical skilling and Innovations Centre at CEDAT with the objective of vocationalising University education given the high demand of technicians and yet the University was producing engineers who usually work as managers. Prof. Anthony Gidudu, the Dean, School of the Built Environment said it was important for the fundis to learn from experts to appreciate the science behind the work they do in order to become more efficient.
Written by Musinguzi Harriet, Principal Communication Officer, CEDAT
Posted by Isemaghendera Alex, Web Administrator, CEDAT