A total of 115 students from the Faculty of Architecture were among the more than 600 students passed out, yesterday, at the 12th graduation ceremony for Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (Kist).
The department of architecture graduated 19 students, quantity surveying 25, creative designs 19 and estates management and evaluation 42.
A total of 671 students graduated yesterday.
Marie Christine Gasingirwa, the Kist rector, told the pioneers in the field of architecture that they were privileged to pursue a noble course that is highly recognised by government.
She urged the graduates to be creative, determined, ethical and professional in their work as quality is a priority in service delivery as the construction industry continues to grow globally.
Gasingirwa said the number of female enrollment in science courses was still low despite an increase in the 2012/2013 academic year.
“This year, I am happy to present to the labour market a total of 671 qualified personnel, of whom 176 are females and three post-graduates. This indicates that female students still shy away from taking on science and technology courses,” Gasingirwa said.
The rector added that there was need for education stakeholders to discuss possible incentives for promoting female enrollment in science and engineering architecture in order to reach the 35 per cent which is the target as per the 2011/2015 strategic plan.
The Minister for Education, Dr Vincent Biruta, said the number of students enrolling in institutions of higher learning is still low although his ministry was working tirelessly to address the problem.
Dr Biruta, who is also the Kist chancellor, added that he was privileged to be graduating the first group of architects in the country and commended Kist for their efforts in achieving this goal.
Appealing to parents to encourage their daughters to take on science courses, the minister also called on female students to embrace science and technology.
Marie Amelie Ntigilirwa, a graduate of architecture, was excited for having completed the five year course, adding she looked forward to apply the knowledge she had acquired from Kist.
“I like building, environment and creating spaces I am glad that I can now be part of those to improve and bridge the skills gap in the field of architecture in my country,” she said.
Thierry Iraguha, another architecture student, said he intends to bring unique architectural designs to the country since the current designs were a copy and paste from other countries.
The rector expressed delight that the graduating students in the field of architecture had saved the institute a lot of money when they designed the library which is under construction at the school.
This, she said, was a clear indication that the graduates were ready to compete in labour market.