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Training in Forest Road Planning and Building (Tacis)
Start date: Dec 20, 2007, End date: Jun 20, 2009 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The forest road network in the Republic of Karelia is fairly limited, approximately 0.25 km/100 forest hectares. Only approximately 200 kilometres of new forest roads are built annually. According to the Karelian Research Institute of Forest Industry the forest road network covers only one fourth of the current need. In addition, the road structure is not strong enough to support year-round transport use. The most significant reason for the poor condition and the small number of forest roads is the lack of information and training in the subject area. The project is to develop the instruction and educational programmes in the Republic of Karelia by transferring knowledge and expertise regarding accessibility of forest resources and developing the forest road network. The goal is to design a new training programme for forest road planning and construction for the Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School. In addition, the pedagogic skills of the local instructors are to be improved and a pilot period for the training is to be implemented. A goal of the project is also to produce educational material in Russian and acquire a pre-owned excavator machine for instructional purposes. Achievements: The new training programme is to be implemented under the name Excavator Driver Training. The training would be arranged in 2 and 4-month short-term course format and would have a focus on building forest roads using an excavator and construction planning. As background information for planning the training programme, the instructors of the Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School assessed the other educational institutions and their training programmes that offer excavator driver instruction in Russian Karelia. The acquired information is to be utilised in the planning of the training programme for the school. The instructors have selected and listed the industrys textbooks in Russian, which are to be used in the training. In addition, Valtimo North Karelia College has translated Finnish educational material that suits the new training programme into Russian. Two training have been arranged for three of the Russian instructors at the partner schools: one instructional week at Valtimo, and another practical hands-on week, organised by the North Karelia Forestry Centre, at road construction sites in progress in Juuka. A third learning week is to be organised during 2009. A pre-owned excavator, purchased using project funding, will be delivered to Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School, once a certificate has been received from CIHTA that releases it from being subject to duties and Russian VAT. The pilot period of the training programme is to be implemented near the end of the project in the spring of 2009. The project ends on June 20, 2009. The Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School will be the greatest beneficiary of the project. It will receive a new training programme and an excavator for instructional purposes, which will result in an increase in student enrolment. Valtimo North Karelia College also benefited from the project, as it receives valuable experience and expertise by developing the training programme. This improves both the colleges competitiveness as a training provider, and its ability to attract students, both domestic and international.
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