Equipping Youth with Skills in Fashion & Design
Naomi Kansungwi, a Fashion & Design teacher at DAPP Mikolongwe Vocational School Started her career in 2004 at Mphwezi Women’s Learning Centre in the northern region of Malawi where she trained for 2 years and obtained a Certificate and Diploma in fashion design.
In 2005, she joined DAPP Mikolongwe Vocational school where she started teaching the Fashion and design course “2005 was the first time that DAPP started implementing the tailoring course. I was teaching basics of tailoring as by then the course was informal were students were trained for a period of 4 or 6 months in basics of tailoring” she said.
When Sympany Holland came in 2015, they improved the school’s structures and standards of teaching which ensured that the tailoring course was up to standard of the examining boards and the course became 3 years. In the 3-year course, the students learn Tailoring which involves stitching, designing which requires the students to come up with their own designs and pattern making and fundamental subjects which look at communication, entrepreneurship, business documentation, science of fabrics and safety. “The students just don’t learn in class, they also go for practical’s and attachments in design companies and garment shops to get hands on experience” she said
“This course has changed students lives. Most have their own businesses while some have been employed by other vocational school. I had a student by the name of Victoria Amedu who went on to open her own business and further employed her fellow classmates. To me, this is a clear sign of team work” Naomi said
She would like to appeal to youth to enroll into courses that will require them with skills that they can use even if they do not get employed. “Vocational courses are the way to go nowadays as jobs are very scarce” She said
DAPP Mikolongwe vocational school is currently offering eleven formal and informal courses namely Agriculture, Bricklaying, Carpentry, Community Development, Financial Accounting, Textile & Fashion Designing, Beauty & Hairdressing, Renewable Energy & Electrical Installation, Plumbing & Wash Technician and Welding & Fabrication, Cobbler and Shoe Making and Tailoring.