About 21,700 candidates countrywide yesterday began the national practical examinations for Senior Six students in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) schools.
The 10-day exercise will be conducted in 95 centres located in all the four provinces and City of Kigali. Last year, 17,426 students sat the exam. The candidates will be examined in over 20 subjects, including accounting, agriculture, building and construction, electronics and telecommunication, mechanics, among others.
While officially launching the exams at Ecole d’Arts de Nyundo in Rubavu District, the State Minster in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Albert Nsengiyumva, reiterated the government’s commitement to enhancing job creation through TVET.
He said that practical exams for TVET students is a must pass for one to get a certificate.
“Practical skills are fundamental for technical students, that is what employers need, students also need such skills to be relevant on the labour market. Employers are not interested in mere certificate, which is why we want to equip them with practical skills,” said Nsengiyumva.
“We want to focus on practical lessons instead of theory and ensure that Rwandans become job creators other than job seekers.”
The minister said government has been working on improving TVET curricula and infrastructure.
“The government cannot satisfy technical and vocational schools in terms of materials because we want as many students as possible to pursue technical and vocation courses. We will, therefore, keep working with private partners to produce quality graduates,” the minister said.
He said the Ministry of Education, through the Workforce Development Authority, had supported the schools in terms of infrastructure, and pledged further support in terms of training materials and human resource.
“What you do is real and marketable, the schools shouldn’t be providing only training but act as a museum where people travelling through this road should visit. We want to build a showroom here which will help the school to sell its products,” he said.
Candidates expressed their readiness to compete on the labour market or create their jobs once they complete school.
“Since my childhood I wanted to be an artist. I grew up with the same feelings and, fortunately, I joined this school. I am confident that what I acquired is a life skill and committed to making art products for sale,” said Linda Ndizeye, a Senior Six Graphic Arts student.