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Going beyond basic curricula

Abdul Saboor passed his intermediate examination from the Government Degree College, SRE Majeed in Malir. Currently he is enrolled in the two-year programme for machine technicians being offered at the AMANTECH in collaboration with BASF under Germany Pakistan Training Initiative (GPATI).

He is one of six siblings and all of them work as technicians in factories located around Malir.

Saboor starts off by sharing his experience as a student of intermediate college before he found out about GPATI training programme. “The quality of education at the college was poor. We would go to tuition centres where we were made to rote learn everything. I didn’t really understand whatever was being taught. We were just told to memorise a few passages because they had a good chance of turning up in the exams.”

Saboor’s thinking about education changed after his experience at the AMANTECH, being one of the training providers for GPATI training courses.  “I am glad to have come here. It is totally different. Learning is simple and easy here. Our teachers encourage us to ask questions when we find something difficult. Later in the day, we are practically shown and get to practice what we learnt in the first half of the day. I remember how, during my first few days here, I broke the drill bit while trying to drill a hole into a metal sheet. The first thing the teachers asked me was whether I was hurt. And then they gave me another drill bit and told me to try again. Coming from a system of schooling where no one really bothered this seemed like a different planet,” he says excitedly.

Talking about the course and curriculum he was taught for the first six months Saboor says he learnt about Safety measures in detail. “Other than that, we learnt communicating in English through listening and reading exercises which really improved our language skills. They taught us metal machining, filing, grinding, and drilling. They taught us how to measure properly with callipers, they taught us how to mark something carefully before we decided to cut or drill it. It wasn’t just out of the book. We were shown videos, helped to learn with pictures of everything that was being discussed. It was a proper learning experience,” he says adding that it also involved a comprehensive training on MS OFFICE for preparing spread sheets, presentations, and typing letters as well as making formulas for simple accounting documents.

Saboor says the courses being taught here go beyond the basic curriculum: “We were taught how to dress up decently. We were taught how to behave if we went to an interview or if we were being talked to by our colleagues and our superiors.”

In the second stage of his first year Saboor is now working at BASF’s maintenance department. “It’s a great environment. Everyone is ready to help whenever we need it. I have fixed broken pump shafts with the team here, and we look after the repair and maintenance of all the machines in the factory. I enjoy my work and feel as if I belong here!”