Rwanda Polytechnic (RP) plans to start five new Bachelor of Technology (BTech) programmes in the academic year 2023/2024. The new programmes will adopt an innovative teaching approach taking into consideration the current dynamic world of technology by taking the students beyond textbook learning to “advanced hands-on” experiences through laboratory/workshop, industry-based training with a problem-based learning approach. The development was welcomed with much anticipation from the students. ALSO READ: Five new Bachelor of Technology programmes to be introduced in Rwanda Polytechnic Josine Uwamariya, a student at RP Kigali campus, highlighted the positive aspects of such programs, arguing that they have the potential to encourage and engage students in innovative and creative projects that showcase new technologies and enable rapid responses to societal needs. Uwamariya added that RP normally used to offer training programs up to Advanced Diploma only, which limits the creation of qualified student trainers and practitioners in some economic sectors. “The programme will benefit us a lot and help to respond to the technological changes and market demand as well as make technical studies more attractive to even the young generation,’’ she said. Another student from Tumba campus, Benjamin Iraganje, noted that this could be a game-changer. He argued that in the past, many students faced challenges in achieving high qualifications in technical fields. After obtaining their advanced diplomas, a significant number would often halt their education, despite the existence of opportunities that demanded advanced skills. “This is a milestone, and it will benefit us even more. Now, we will not be discouraged from pursuing bachelor's degrees at other universities, as RP is going to offer advanced bachelor's programmes,” he said. ALSO READ: Govt to build TVET Centre of Excellence in every district Aime Mwizerwa, a student at RP Huye campus, said that in addition to acquiring advanced skills through RP, they anticipate witnessing an increase in the enrollment of children in TVET schools. “There was a stereotype suggesting that technical education was only for those who hadn't succeeded elsewhere. However, this perception is far from accurate. With the introduction of advanced Bachelor's programmes in technical fields, I believe it will alter the mindset of both parents and students. This change will likely lead to a greater number of students choosing to enroll in technical education programmes,” he added. Claudine Ishimwe, from RP-Kigali campus, noted that acquiring advanced skills can open up a wide range of opportunities for students, and fortunately, they will no longer need to search for courses elsewhere. According to Sylvie Mucyo, the Vice-Chancellor of RP, existing programs launched in March are in construction and automotive technology. The five new programmes are: 1. BTech in Manufacturing Technology at IPRC Ngoma 2. BTech in Wood Technology at IPRC Kitabi 3. BTech in Electrical Technology at IPRC Musanze 4. BTech in Food Processing at IPRC Musanze 5. BTech in Information Technology at IPRC Tumba ALSO READ: Govt targets to send 60% O’level students in TVET schools by 2024 Mucyo said that when selecting faculties for the Btech programme, they consider various aspects including market demand, the country's vision, and other relevant factors.