Bornito de Sousa was speaking this Tuesday at the opening of the 1st National Meeting on Engineering Education in Angola, a government initiative, coordinated by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, which was also attended by the Minister of State for Economic Coordination, Manuel Nunes Júnior.
"A system that favors technological and vocational training and employability of training and generates specialists who produce lasting and quality works, instead of the so-called 'works of styrofoam' and who know how to combine evolution and modernity with the positive values of Angolan ancestral culture and tradition," said the ruler.
According to Bornito de Sousa, it is also necessary a system that favors and stimulates cooperation between universities and national institutes with the best universities in the world, as well as national companies, local governments, technical and professional training institutions and professional associations, such as the Order of Engineers of Angola, "in order to give greater reliability to the works performed in the country.
Engineering education, he argued, depends, as all higher education, on the investment and quality of the previous levels, namely pre-school, primary and secondary education.
"In addition, it is urgent to abandon the European-centered or Western-centered teaching model, which atrophies the true geographic dimension of Africa, exalts slavery in the formation of the student's conscience, and minimizes the African civilizations of antiquity that influenced the world today and the far-reaching scientific and technological contributions made by Africans and African-descendants," the Vice President further advocated.
For Bornito de Sousa, it is also necessary to publicize and support the implementation and application of successful projects of Angolans, namely those who have been awarded prizes in international inventors' fairs.
The investment in teacher training was also defended by the leader, pointing out that the support for the measures taken by the Executive should continue in order to increasingly position the teachers as the central figure of the entire education and teaching system, namely demanding higher education for teachers at all levels.
According to the vice-president, engineering must serve and contribute to solving the concrete problems of citizens, companies and institutions, communities, the country and globally, questioning the solutions to traditional situations that afflict citizens.
"The eternal traffic jams in the province of Luanda have no solution? The floods in Luanda when it rains have no solution? Do rural communities have to live in the dark in a country full of sunshine and permanent rivers for the production of clean energy? Does it have no solution? Vaccine production that takes years was done in months for covid-19. What about for malaria? What about for HIV/AIDS? And for livestock? Don't they have a solution? In a country rich in timber, does the production of essential school furniture have no solution? The consequences of the cyclical drought in the desert influence provinces in southern Angola have no solution," he questioned.
The vice-president stressed that the country needs to overcome current challenges of water, electric light, communications, food availability, current problems of mobility and urban traffic, but also to align itself to a world in rapid technological evolution.
The Ministry said that the supply of engineering courses in Angola represents 17 percent of the total supply and 12 percent of students enrolled in higher education, and that the training of engineers in the competent institutions reveals some difficulties already identified.