Two years ago, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Sports and Culture signed a memorandum of understanding leading to the establishment of sports academies in different disciplines such as volleyball, basketball, handball, swimming, athletics, tennis and cricket.
Today, the implementation of sports academies in TVET programme is in progress as some academies have been established to enable training of young boys and girls in Rwanda that would like to pursue sports as a profession.
According to Didier Munezero, Director Planning at WDA, preparations of the curriculum and hiring of competent trainers by Workforce Development Authority together with various sports federations is also still going on.
“The introduction of sports academies in Rwanda by the government is a way of job creation for the youth as well as a way of skills development; an objective towards the fulfillment of vision 2020 to create a knowledge-based economy,” Munezero told Sunday Sport in an exclusive interview.
Munezero also added that because to these academies, the country will be able to produce skilled youth in sports and consequently, Rwanda will be able to export highly skilled players, coaches and sports administrators in different disciplines.
He stressed that, in addition to the benefits of introducing sports academies, unemployment levels will reduce and also there will be an increase in entertainment and leisure activities for the Rwandan people.
National Development Programme Coordinator at WDA, Abdallah Nzabandora, said that a number of schools have already been identified for training to commence.
He pointed out institutions like Musanze Polytechnic, where the basketball academy is and Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center Kigali (IPRC-Kigali) for cricket and tennis, students have already reported for training.
Other schools that have been identified across the country to host sports academies include; Ecole Agricole Et Veterinairi (EAV) Kabutare for football, IPRC-South for athletics, IPRC-East for volley ball and IPRC-West for handball.
Nzabandora said that the integration of these sports academies into the Technical and Vocational Education and Training programme will help in the development of talent and have future professionals, who have studied and will be doing sports as their source of income.
“We had never had sports academies in our country, what we had previously were just training centers and therefore had no professionals running them. Most of our youth have been sitting on their talents and abandoning them hence pursuing other things that do not suit their passion,” he noted.
Nzabandora added that using the Competence Based Training model, certificates will be rewarded to an individual who completes each of the three level of training available.
The minimum level of enrollment in these academies starts from completion of ordinary level hence giving potential students to enroll for the remaining three (senior 4, 5, and 6) of their education in sports.
Workforce Development Authority through National Employment Programme will be working with different federations, Ministry of Sports and Culture as well as the National Olympic Committees to establish a sustainable sports development programme.
The Director of Sports in the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Emmanuel Bugingo, says that the academies are one way of developing more activities for young people in Rwanda besides other skills being offered by the government.
He said that by partnering with WDA and other stakeholders, all requirements for this programme will be worked on so that it can be fully implemented.