Mr. Sebastiani passionately explained about how he has managed to set up and show case the Schneider Centre of Excellence at the Vaal University of Technology situated approximately 100km south of Johannesburg in South Africa. One would wonder if this showpiece training Centre is result of multinational company and huge funding from Schneider Foundation in partnership with the French Ministry of Education and Vaal University of Technology or it is unique because of the approach and spirit behind that is demonstrated by Mr. Sebastiani and the staff.

Vaal University of Technology is celebrating 50 years of existence as seen by the welcome sign at the entrance. The French South African Schneider Electrical Education Centre (F’SASEC) has been established within the university campus since 8 years to train underprivileged youth as Electricians Artisan in Domestic, Industrial and PLC Automation. The surrounding, the laboratories, equipment and tools look as if they were placed the previous day before the visit of a group of educationalist that I happen to be part of. ‘Not one tool has been lost, damaged or stolen’ said Mr. Sebastiani as the lectures and teachers – who are past students of the Centre-, bowed their heads in agreement.

I was made to believe that it is possible to provide quality education and training to underprivileged youth not just because of the combined effort of interest stakeholders but also because of the examples I saw in person at the Centre. The youth who come to FSASEC are from very difficult and poor background of society and yet they are trained in the best environment possible.

I accepted the invitation from Schneider foundation and FSASEC to visit the Centre in order to strengthen the partnership ZMB intend to build together with other Don Bosco Training Institutions worldwide that has established this relationship to train young people in Electrical Engineering. I completed the visit not with a promise for funding but motivated that such cause is still possible. Inside me I felt a sense of shame that most of our Don Bosco Training Centres below such standards.

Hard work, Commitment, Discipline, Integrity, Excellence and Creativity are the values displayed at Vaal’s FSASEC Centre that makes it a place of excellence. These are the foundation stones of success and they come before money, resources, facilities, cars and equipment.

When our education Centres get the values right, not too many things can go wrong.




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