US envoy demands more results from vocational centres

The United States Ambassador to Rwanda Wednesday highlighted the need for productivity of vocational centres to transform the education system to a hands-on-work training.He made the remark during his tour to the offices of Rwanda Workforce Development Authority (WDA) in Remera, Gasabo District.
Rwanda Development Board CEO Joe Ritchie and US Ambassador to Rwanda,  Stuart Symington talk to WDA Director General Chong Fook Yen. (Photo/ J Mbanda).
Rwanda Development Board CEO Joe Ritchie and US Ambassador to Rwanda, Stuart Symington talk to WDA Director General Chong Fook Yen. (Photo/ J Mbanda).

The United States Ambassador to Rwanda Wednesday highlighted the need for productivity of vocational centres to transform the education system to a hands-on-work training.
He made the remark during his tour to the offices of Rwanda Workforce Development Authority (WDA) in Remera, Gasabo District.

The visit, according to WDA officials, was organized in a move to explore possible areas of cooperation between the Authority and the US Embassy.

“Maybe the reason why people don’t believe in vocational training is because they don’t see the results,” noted the ambassador.

The tour was also conducted in the presence of Joe Ritchie, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board.

The Director General of WDA, Chong Fook Yen, presented the Authority’s progress report and action plan to the visitor, indicating some key indicators of the Rwandan Vision 2020 on which the agency’s plan of action is based.

“We want people to either get jobs or create their own jobs,” said Chong.

Presenting the targets they set from the EDPRS Paper, Chong showed that currently the percentage of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students is 25 percent while their target for 2012 is of 75 percent.

The output from the vocational training centres is currently of 8,250 students, while the target for 2012 is of 135,000 students.

The WDA boss also said that their aim is to take vocational training centres to the countryside as well, and expressed hope for the great achievements in the foreseeable future.

“Within five years we can see dramatic changes,” he revealed.

The WDA mandate and implementation plan for 2009 will focus on putting in place practical training facilities in public institutions, and the training of trainers.

Apart from developing competency-based curricula and working more closely with private sector companies and institutions, the Authority also wants to increase the operational budgets and to put in place a robust management structure in all TVET schools.

The Rwanda Workforce Development Authority was established by the government and approved by the cabinet in January 2008 as an institutional framework to provide a strategic response to the skills development challenges facing the country across all sectors of the economy.

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