The Ministry of Education has sealed an agreement with private Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions under which thousands of students who passed last year’s national O-Level examinations will be enrolled in the schools.
The development was announced on Friday by Olivier Rwamukwaya, the state minister for TVET.
“In a bid to help more youths acquire vocational technical skills, the Ministry of Education signed an agreement with some private TVET schools to enroll students in the same way it is done in public schools,” he said on twitter.
The new arrangement will help address the issue of shortage of space and overcrowding in public schools.
The move is expected to boost the government’s bid to have TVET account for at least 60 per cent of total student enrolment in the country.
Under the deal, the private TVET schools will charge the same tuition as the public schools offering similar courses, while government will committed to extend to these schools the same level of support it gives to public schools.
Rwamukwaya later told Saturday Times that 17 private TVET schools are part of the deal, adding that these training institutions will take up 4570 students as part of the arrangement.
Jerome Gasana, the Director General of Workforce Development Authority, which regulates the TVET sub-sector, told this newspaper recently that the latest development will allow the government to achieve the 60 per cent TVET enrolment target this year.
He said that 55 per cent of the country’s total student population was in TVET by end 2016.
Teachers who spoke to Saturday Times expressed optimism saying that, while the initiative will help scale up TVET enrollment, it will also empower them to offer quality education.
Cyprien Mbaragijimana, the head teacher of Lycée de Ruhango Ikirezi, said their school was struggling to get students due to the introduction of the 12-year basic education programme which attracted most students.
The school is part of the new deal and will receive 430 students.
“The government will also work more closely with private schools unlike previously when they were more involved with public schools,” he added.
He said government had committed to top up Rwf80,000 for every student under the arrangement.
Meanwhile, the selection process, which also involves students joining Senior One and Senior Four in formal secondary schools, is set to be completed on Sunday.