The State Minister in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Thursdaycalled on TVET institutions to partake in finding solutions to the country’s energy deficit by producing graduates with the requisite skills to help address the current shortage.
He was speaking at Tumba College of Technology during a graduation ceremony for some 358 students who completed their studies in different courses, including alternative energy, information technology, electronics and communication.
At the same time, it emerged that as many as 55 per cent of Rwandan O’ Level graduates were now choosing to join TVET institutions as opposed to the classic education system – which augers well with the government’s target of 60 per cent by 2018.
Now that’s an encouraging development and a timely shot in the arm for government’s growth agenda considering that technical and vocational education has traditionally been viewed as inferior to the conventional education system and effectively shunned by most students.
Nonetheless, the rising status of TVET should directly impact the country by ensuring that these institutions, as the minister advised, significantly contribute toward finding solutions to the challenges that threaten present and future national development blueprints.
Yet the principle of ensuring that training institutions remain relevant with the needs of the world of work and national economic agenda must be embraced by all education providers to break ranks with the archaic colonial education system that was hardly responsive to the demands of the labour market.
There is need to bridge the existing gap between education providers on the one hand and the industry and national economic priorities on the other. This will ensure that education institutions impart skills that will not only help the student to use the acquired skills to earn a decent income to impact their life and that of their loved ones but to also play a key role in the achievement of the country’s development agenda.
Most importantly, institutions of learning, especially those at the tertiary level, need to align their curricula to the national development priorities to help the country fast-track its growth targets.
Today’s world requires learning institutions to be dynamic and flexible in their approach to education if they are to remain relevant to society. They must learn to seize every opportunity to remain responsive to the demands of the labour market and the environment within which they operate.