Training trainers – learning solar technology to teach it themselves

In advanced training courses in Wildpoldsried, Bavaria, vocational school teachers from African partner countries have been learning how to design, build and operate self-sufficient battery-based solar power grids for buildings. They then teach their new knowledge to aspiring solar technicians in their home countries.

Twelve vocational teachers from Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zambia, Kenya and Rwanda completed the second module of the professional development course in Planning, Construction and Operation of Battery-buffered PV Systems in early March. Not only can they now design and install systems themselves. They can also pass on their knowledge to students at vocational schools in their home countries.

On June 12, the second round of the course started for twelve more vocational school teachers from Green People’s Energy (GBE) partner countries.

The course is part of a modular training programme with VET4Africa, the Bavarian energy village Wildpoldsried and the Vocational Training Centre of the Bavarian Economy (BBW) training more than 200 vocational school teachers from GBE partner countries in solar energy until October 2022. GBE is providing financial support for the programme.

In a combination of theoretical knowledge, practical work and a focus on teaching concepts and fun with technology during two two-week modules, instructors show colleagues from Africa the tools they need to themselves become solar technology instructors.

To participate in the in-person courses in Wildpoldsried, the solar trainers from Africa had to pass an entry test and prove their mettle in interviews. They also committed to training at least 30 prospective specialists in their home country, and will continue to receive support in the field. Two German vocational school teachers from the training courses travel to Africa as mentors to their mentees to support them in executing the training concept.