A new Technical and Vocational Education and Training center has been opened in Musanze District.
The Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer located in Gacaca Sector cost Rwf 306 million and was funded by the African Development Bank as part of the Science and Technology Skills Development project.
It has been operational since April last year and students are admitted and trained for free.
Dr. Marie Christine Gasingirwa, Director General of Sciences, Technology and Research at the Ministry of Education, said it will supplement the bid to reduce technical skills gap in the country.
“We need skilled personnel to address unemployment and transform our economy. We cannot develop unless we develop skilled personnel. This centre will facilitate innovation and innovation doesn’t mean to create new things out of the blue, but to modify what we already have and make it efficient and affordable to local people,” she said at the inauguration ceremony.
She explained that it will also develop communities through research.
“Its role is not only to produce graduates but also to do research, identify the needs of the community and provide solutions. For instance, we have a problem of firewood deficiency, among others. Making stoves that consume less firewood is one of the solutions,” she said.
Augustin Ndabereye, Musanze district Vice Mayor in charge of Economic Affairs, welcomed the centre.
“Most people in this district depend on agriculture. The population is growing yet land remains the same. Besides, young people finish high school and fail to get jobs because there are either no jobs or they are not skilled enough to secure jobs or create their own. So this centre is a solution to those problems. It will help the youth to think more on off-farm jobs than agriculture,” he noted.
The Centre was officially handed over to the IPRC North on the same day.
John Bosco Nkuranga, deputy principal in charge of academics and training at IPRC North said: “Receiving this facility is a great pleasure. As a training institution, we are lucky to be given an opportunity to expand and produce more graduates who will positively impact the community”.
66 students are currently being trained in two courses, namely welding fabrication and domestic electrical installation.
Nkuranga revealed that five more courses will soon be introduced at the center in line with the National Employment Programme.
Some the students who have already enrolled at the center, shared their happiness.
“I wanted these skills to supplement my knowledge. We are acquiring a lot of skills that will help us create our own jobs and ultimately employ others. We will help communities because we will create jobs from what we learnt, sell them affordable products as well as employ them,” said Jean d’Amour Hagenimana.
Pauline Uwajeneza who studies welding said she wanted to defy the odds and do traditionally male jobs. “I studied History and Geography at high school but decided to come here to acquire practical skills. It’s the third week and I am already able to make doors and windows. With such skills, there’s no way you can stay idle,” she said.