Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Tools for Africa

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

jonny boy

Established Member
Joined
8 Jul 2005
Messages
436
Reaction score
0
Location
South Yorks, UK.
Hello,

While reading my latest edition of good woodworking I was paying particular attention to the article about woodworkers being able to help Africa by means of timber trade and also the giving of tools to enable people there to make a living. The reason why this story stood out was because about twelve months ago I attended a short course run by Makita UK which included various things about power tools and safety in the workplace etc. The course was held at the local construction college who cater for young school leavers who want to persue careers in building or carpentry/joinery. We all had to meet inside the woodwork shop and this was where the course took place. All of the people that attended couldn't believe the hand tools that the college was providing for the young lads to use. Chisels that had only two inch of blade left, planes with no handles and bits of tape wrapped round the bolt, tennon saws only any good for spreading glue and I never even saw a square. A chat with the joinery lecturer confirmed my suspitions and a lack of funds and other areas of the college that needed money meant that woodwork had to go without.
I do believe in helping less fortunate people and giving to charities but I also feel strongly about helping your own. Yes, other countries do need help but we also have needs in our own and maybe directing some tools towards the youth who need them to start their own careers wouldn't be a bad thing either. At the end of the day, it's those young lads who will eventually become involved in the wood trades where all the tools donated are initially from!

cheers,
jonny.
 

Howjoe

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2005
Messages
158
Reaction score
0
Location
Hertfordshire
I recently completed a (evening) construction award course in the wood trades and the tools in the workshops were awful. They receive such a hard time and not just from their intended use......The lecturer told me how he once stopped two of the day students having a "sword fight" with mortice chisels :shock:

From what I could see, the other depts - mainly IT, received more funding and therefore better equipment. The lecturers confirmed that this is a common problem of unequal distribution of dept funding.

Even though the course I attended as a mature student was heavily subsidised by the government, it still carried quite a hefty fee on top....and this was the same for the other evening and weekend courses. IMO, colleges should sort out their own funding.

I believe tools for Africa is a fantastic initiative, and should be supported.

Cheers

Howard
 

Woodythepecker

Established Member
Joined
30 Jul 2004
Messages
686
Reaction score
0
I couldn't agree more, charity begins at home. Why not give some of that lottery money to supply the young with these tools.

Regards

Woody
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
Because they'd end up just as abused within months, if not weeks? At least there's a chance a recepient in Africa will recognise the importance of his tools to help earn a living, and look after them in consequence. :?

Cheers, Alf
 

Mcluma

Established Member
Joined
2 Feb 2005
Messages
1,832
Reaction score
0
Location
Pyrford - Woking
Alf":29ew2h3s said:
Because they'd end up just as abused within months, if not weeks? At least there's a chance a recepient in Africa will recognise the importance of his tools to help earn a living, and look after them in consequence. :?

Cheers, Alf
Disagree. We need good craftsman here, to keep our premium industry going (and earn a decend living too). rather then create cheap exploided people on the other side, who copy every high-end design
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
Mcluma":2wdetc7b said:
Disagree. We need good craftsman here
No question of that. But we will get good craftsmen from a course where the tutor can't even impress on his students the importance of looking after the tools of your trade? I mean, honestly, how can anyone with access to a bit of wood and a drill bit let a plane go without a handle of some sort? Is that attitude going to result in craftsmen? Or bodgers?

Cheers, Alf
 

Mcluma

Established Member
Joined
2 Feb 2005
Messages
1,832
Reaction score
0
Location
Pyrford - Woking
Alf partly disagree and agree .

My father (71) who is a retired engineer teaches part time electronics at an craft school in the netherlands.

Primary issue. Yes lack of respect for teachers, lack of respect for tools etc. (father receives treaths on a daily basis, but as a widow, he doesn't care much about that -yes it is said)

BUT and this goes for all of us. RESPECT HAS TO BE TOUGHED by parents. they have the first and only goal in providing a harbour that kids can develop proper values for parents and society. Blair is right. there are to many people around who are indifferent about what they cause. proper selfishness.

A teacher is there to teach people, he expects people to have basic respect for that what he does. Providing them a chance on a better life

McLuma
 

jonny boy

Established Member
Joined
8 Jul 2005
Messages
436
Reaction score
0
Location
South Yorks, UK.
HI,

Regardless of all the political issues around this, my point about tools for Africa was to try and express my view that giving good tools to countries who may well benefit from them while accepting that our own needs don't matter or are never reported. After all, what looks best in the centre pages of a glossy magazine, an article on giving tools to people in Africa or the local school needs a plane or two? The real issue which I think is important is that it is hard enough to get young lads at school leaving age to consider their future as it is, so when you get a group of them who are willing to get up in the morning and learn a career, the least that they deserve is the proper "tools" to help them do this. It is so easy now for young men to get themselves involved in mischief and ruin their chances of a career and I think we need to remember this.

cheers,
jonny.
 

Howjoe

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2005
Messages
158
Reaction score
0
Location
Hertfordshire
The point that I was making, was that the college where I trained, charged quite a big fee for the evening / weekend courses - this is pooled into the funding along with the subsidies that they receive. They made the decision on how the profit is used - they decide how and where it's spent....and how much of it is left as 'profit'. The 'day' students are school leavers, following the NVQ CITB City & Guilds programme and under 18's are enroled without charge as is normal and rightly so.

If a college's managment decides that £x is spent in one dept less £x in another, then that should not be a consideration for some charitable initiative to pick up on if the college won't or can't at local level sort it out themselves. Used dontated tools probably wouldn't be allowed to be used in a college anyway, despite being in good order.....for some over zealous H&S rule. A large power tool company wanting to donate new tools in return for name recognition, is a different thing altogether. We use some of the latest Makita mitre saws, drills and sanders.....on the hand tool side, the tenon saws are warped with teeth missing, the chisels appear to have been used for chipping rocks and the squares are.....well,....not square. Most new kit is 'expected' to reduce by 25% within in 5/6 weeks as it just 'goes missing'!

IMO I don't feel the tools for africa initiative can be compared to a subsidised and profit making organisation not arraning their funding to an adequate level. This isn't aimed at the front line teaching staff, but at the county level financial management.

Cheers

Howard
 

jonny boy

Established Member
Joined
8 Jul 2005
Messages
436
Reaction score
0
Location
South Yorks, UK.
HI Howjoe,

You make the point that colleges should be responsible for their own funding and it's up to them to provide the nessesary tools for the student's needs. I get the impression that you claim the problem or lack of tools/equipment is directly a consequence of bad managemet and an unfair distribution of funds, yes?
There is no one worse for bad management or unfair distribution of funds than the African government themselves. A lot of why some areas of Africa prosper whilst others are starving is a direct result of pocketing money and diverting wealth to keep them at the top comfortable.

cheers,
jonny.
 

Howjoe

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2005
Messages
158
Reaction score
0
Location
Hertfordshire
jonny boy":v1cowbsw said:
HI Howjoe,

You make the point that colleges should be responsible for their own funding and it's up to them to provide the nessesary tools for the student's needs. I get the impression that you claim the problem or lack of tools/equipment is directly a consequence of bad managemet and an unfair distribution of funds, yes?

Correct. A distinction needs to be made here between schools and colleges. The colleges that I know of, are subsidised and enter into profit related enterprises such as evening and weekend courses...and there is nothing wrong with that. What I find difficult to digest, is mismanaged funds causing an effect of perceived hardship which attracts a charitable concern.

jonny boy":v1cowbsw said:
There is no one worse for bad management or unfair distribution of funds than the African government themselves. A lot of why some areas of Africa prosper whilst others are starving is a direct result of pocketing money and diverting wealth to keep them at the top comfortable.
Again, correct. There is widespread corruption and this is having a serious and almost unfathomable detrimental effect. At last and perhaps not enough, this is receiving the Worlds attention. But where I think another distinction needs to be made is that IMO you can't compare the corruption of an entire continent's government and a number of UK college's spending irregularities between departments.

Either way, with VERY differing levels of importance, something needs to be done about both.

Cheers

Howard
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Howdy All!

There's little been said that I'd disagree with on this topic. However, I'd like to point out for ALF a practice students 50 years ago, when I first took a woodworking course in public (don't think this means the same in the UK, does it?) school, were very familar with.

First, no student was allowed to use a power tool until s/he had been personally checked out by the teacher, including a Q&A that was pretty rigorous. The first term, all work was done exclusively with hand tools.

Second, ALL handtools were kept in a locker. A student was assigned to check out hand tools to other students and to receive and inventory them at class end. If I recall correctly, it was someone who had shown greater responsibility and respect for tools and equipment. It was a sign of trust and an honorific. We all took care to inspect and return tools in as good condition as they were when checked out. Any and all damage was taken to the teacher along with the check-out roster. If the teacher found that the damage was from abuse, a letter was sent to the student's parents along with a bill for the replacement value of the tool.

Finally, that must seem a VERY long time ago to most of you but it seems only yesterday to me. We WERE taught to have respect for our teachers by our parents, too. The way my Dad taught it, respect for others was nothing more than an outward expression of self-respect. Has this lesson been lost in UK, too, as it seems to have been on this side of the pond?

With apologies for being long-winded,

BobH
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
Bob,

That's exactly the sort of thing I believe should be done as a matter of course before you start throwing money at the problem. Robert Wearing, of jig making fame, used to teach in a secondary school and his articles covering useful tips for woodwork teachers are an eye-opener. IIRC, he numbered every bench position and a basic set of tools for each position with the same number, and each pupil was listed against which number they were working at. It greatly simplified tracing tool abuse to who dunnit (although obviously not fool proof unless the teacher was vigilant) so they didn't do it! There's endless evidence that giving the young responsibility brings out the best in them; it would seem obvious to make them responsible for the tools they use and not just have an amorphous pool of abused tools that no-one cares about.

Cheers, Alf
 

dedee

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2003
Messages
2,637
Reaction score
1
Location
14860, France
lf, good point. As a slight aside did you see a documentary on the Foreign Legion a week or so back. One of their training methods was to make everyone pay for an individuals mistakes (or inabilities). Within reason this builds a strong team spirit. If it is taken too far, as is the case in the Legion to weed out the weakest link, then it can be a disadvantage.

In the case of woodworking tools if everyone in the class was made to regrind and sharpen all of their tools as a result of one person's abuse then said person may well think twice. Although how this could be enforced without the necessary teacher - pupil respect I do not know.

As for respect IMHO this is just another result or the dumbing down of our societies that has been going on for years. I personally think Murdoch has as much to answer for as any politician

Andy
hope the last sentence is not too political.
 
Top