Prime Minister Dr Edouard Ngirente on Thursday launched the Rwanda Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institute (RTTI) in Kicukiro, Kigali.
It was constructed in partnership with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) at $6 million (roughly Rwf5 billion).
The centre is expected to equip TVET trainers with pedagogical and class management skills and match them with the labour market, among others.
The premier hailed KOICA for supporting Rwanda in not only establishing the institute, but also boosting TVET in general.
“The inauguration of TVET Trainer Institute is a boost to the efforts of the Government to strengthen technical and vocational education and trainings,” he said.
He said that the institute is in line with the national strategy for transformation that seeks to position Rwanda as a globally competitive knowledge-based economy, adding that TVET had been identified as one of the top priorities.
The Prime Minister added that the institute will play a key role in the implementation of a new competency-based curriculum for general education and TVET secondary schools.
“For a better implementation of this curriculum, the capacity of teachers in TVET needs to be developed through in-service education in learner-centred pedagogies. The TVET Trainer Institute will play a key role in increasing the number of youths with appropriate skills tailored to labour market demands,” he noted
Hands-on skills will also help Rwanda reach its targets under the “Made in Rwanda” policy, he said.
“This will only be possible if the TVET sector is upgraded into technology competence centres (TCCs) to train fresh university graduates to meet different priorities industry needs. The Rwanda TVET Trainer Institute will effectively play a key role in this process.”
The main building is comprised of offices for trainers and administration, conference room, a multi-purpose hall with capacity of hosting 120 persons, four group discussion rooms, 3 lecture rooms, each with capacity of 30 persons, and one larger lecture room with a capacity of 60 persons.
It also has a library, an ICT lab and 29 self-contained rooms.
It has two special rooms for people with disability, on the ground floor, and self-contained with suitable facilities, among others.
According to the State Minister for TVET, Olivier Rwamukwaya, the institute comes as a response to the challenge that was facing TVET trainers as they used to struggle to get adequate training due to lack of state-of-the-art facilities.
He said that the institute would be used to provide training to over 4,500 current employees in various TVET centres and others who may join the training profession later.
The facility will be offering training at various levels, and trainers will earn certificates depending on their capacities.
“We will offer TVET Trainer Certificate, Senior TVET Trainer Certificate and Master TVET Trainer Certificate,” he said, adding that some of trainers who will train others have undergone training of trainers (TOT) in South Korea and have ability to share skills with others.
Beneficiaries speak out
Beneficiaries who attended the first training phase hailed the importance of the centre saying it had helped them understand that teaching TVET does not only require TVET skills only but also a wide range of pedagogical and class management skills.
“The training we acquired has equipped us as TVET trainers. We have acquired pedagogical and class management skills which will help us produce graduates that respond to the labour market demand, by implementing competency-based training and competency-based assessment,” said Jean-Baptiste Biziyaremye, a trainer from the College of Karongi.
Mikyung Lee, the president of KOICA, said the support was in line with supporting Rwanda to improve its TVET system to contribute to its transformation journey to become a knowledge-based economy.
Rwanda plans to increase the proportion of students pursuing TVET courses from 46.4 per cent in 2016 to 60 per cent by 2024.