African Centre for Technical Training

Unveiling Excellence: Dr. Otmar Patzel – Introducing International Standards in Sanitary Training Ghana

“Last year, when I started to think very carefully about the kind of TVET institute I wanted to build, I envisioned one that represented standards, not just local but also international. And it is a fact that one of the best countries for such standards is Germany. We decided that our first program would be plumbing because there is not a single international standard plumbing program in Ghana. In looking for help with curriculum development, we first put out a Request for Proposals from Local Consultants. That approach revealed that the type of standards we wanted to introduce, we would not be able to achieve with any of the Local Consultants who responded to the call. We had to quickly pivot and leverage our relationship with one of our German partners to find an expert for this purpose.” – Penelope (Founder, ACTT)

Plumbing standards

His Work with Us

Our training model is meticulously structured, comprising three key blocks: Foundation, Specialization, and Apprenticeship programs. Dr. Otmar Patzel’s invaluable expertise has been instrumental in Block 2 – Specialization. Currently on a short-term assignment, he lends his support to curriculum design, training, and quality assurance in our Plumbing Systems Design program.

Plumbing workshop

His Experience

Dr Patzel’s professional career began with vocational training as a craftsman. He came to university via the second educational route. His subsequent experience include that of a Development Engineer for high-pressure piston pumps at Uraca, and teaching activities at prestigious German vocational schools. He also trained student teachers for the plumbing sector at the University of Bremen. With a doctorate in education, he has written influential textbooks and training materials based on the latest standards and regulations for Germany and the European Union. Many of his publications are widely used in German vocational schools.

Plumbing books

First Impressions at ACTT

“I am impressed.” – Dr. Patzel’s initial words upon arriving at ACTT. Having traveled to various African countries for similar assignments, he admits having the least expectations for this assignment with us.

Favourite food in Ghana: fruits of the country, such as bananas, pineapples or mangoes.

Not so ideal experience in Ghana: Experiencing a bit of cultural shock with the use and disposal of plastics in the country, particularly witnessing plastic waste during a visit to the beach in Accra.

Plumbing training

His Support

Dr. Patzel’s involvement has been transformative. Introducing innovative approaches to practical training using worksheets and learning situations, he has significantly influenced our program’s structure. His role extended beyond the classroom as he actively participated in recruitment interviews, providing insights into the unique challenges faced by Ghana in the plumbing trade. Leveraging his pedagogical experience, he offered valuable coaching on class preparation, student assessment, and facilitator evaluation. Furthermore, his network connections have facilitated the establishment of mutually beneficial relationships with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide.

Dr. Otmar Patzel, a luminary in sanitary engineering, is not just contributing to our plumbing program; he is helping shape the future of technical education at ACTT, infusing it with international standards and excellence.

  • Partner: Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK)
  • Coordinated by: Senior Experten Service (SES)
  • Funded by: Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

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