Girls have been asked to embrace technical and science courses in a bid to eradicate unemployment.
The Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Oda Gasinzigwa, made the remarks during celebrations to mark the Day of the Girl Child on Saturday at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) Kigali in Kicukiro.
The day was marked under the theme, “I am a girl, with a vision, value, my education, my right my future”.
The minister commended efforts made by the government in empowering girls and women in vocational skills, which she said will not only eradicate poverty but also create employment.
“Science or technical courses are not only for men so girls should also offer them. Instead of shying away, you should work hand in hand with the boys and build our nation,” she said, adding that; “Some people have misinterpreted the concept of girl education.”
On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
The international theme for this year’s celebration focuses on “Innovating for Girls’ Education.”
Lawrence Umuhoza, the vice president of the National Children’s Forum and a senior three student at IFAK, Kimihurura encouraged girls to be confident and embrace science and technical courses as they have the same and even better potential like the boys.
“We should not shy away from some things thinking that they are a preserve for men, since girls also have the capacity to do what men can do,” Umuhoza said.
Joseph Mfinanga, the IPRC vice principal in charge of academics and training said girls’ enrolment at the school is still low, but noted the number has been steadily improving since the school started.
“When we started in 2008, we had only 21 girls taking on vocational training courses, but today we have over 500 girls in our school.”
He called for commitment among girls and urged the relevant government institutions to encourage girls to embrace science courses.
Albert Nsengiyumva, the Minister of state in charge of TVET said Rwanda had made some strides in empowering the girl child.
“Rwanda is on the right path in promoting girl child education, and as government we are planning to start awareness campaigns encouraging girls to embrace vocational education and other science courses,” he said.
The day of the girl child celebrations started with a tour around IPRC as girls exhibited their acquired skills.