On August 23rd, The Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre Tumba (IPRC Tumba), formerly known as the Tumba College of Technology, celebrated its 10th anniversary since it opened its doors.
Initially built through a Japanese grant aid project in 1992, the institution has grown to offer quality vocational education and training thanks to JICA’s technical cooperation projects. Since 2007, JICA has provided USD17 million to support IPRC Tumba’s institutional capacity building, including the provision of modern equipment worth USD 3 million.
Celebrations took place at the school premises in Rulindo District and coincided with the phasing out of JICA’s technical cooperation project dubbed ‘Strengthening the Capacity of Tumba College of Technology Phase 2’.
Speaking at the anniversary ceremony, Rita Clémence Mutabazi, the principal of IPRC Tumba said that within the last 10 years, the school managed to reach milestone achievements in various aspects thanks to the support by the Government of Japan through JICA.
“We want to give a special appreciation to JICA and of course to the Government of Japan; those who know us they know that for all the success JICA has played a key part in it, we really appreciate the support,” she said.
Mutabazi noted the school’s infrastructure, academic programmes and the school’s community outreach programmes among other aspects that have been significantly improved through the decade-long cooperation.
“Our training curriculum has evolved; we have renewable energy, we have ICT, we have electronics and telecommunications. To achieve that, we have equipped our labs, opened satellite centers in Kigali and Musanze, as well as a production unit which has changed lives within the surrounding community with our hands-on skills and innovation spirit,” she emphasized.
As part of the celebration event, the IPRC Tumba organized a tour of the school facility to showcase its achievements to dignitaries from the two governments, namely Honorable Minister of Education Dr. Eugene Mutimura and His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, Mr. Takayuki Miyashita. Among the facilities toured included ICT labs, a renewable energy workshop, students’ career support center and incubation space, as well as products designed and developed by IPRC Tumba instructors and students including smart-egg incubators, an improved cooking stove and solar water heater.
The tour also included an observation of lightning protection devices installed by the Otowa Electric Co. Ltd., a Japanese company specialized in the production of lightning sensors, surge protective devices, among others. “Rwanda is the lightning capital of the world,” Mr. Shinji Inoue, the Director and General Manager of the Otowa Electric said. “Our goal is to reduce the number of lightning casualties in Rwanda. Also, we hope our devices will help protect ICT equipment as Rwanda’s ICT sector continues to grow.”
In his remarks, Ambassador Miyashita commended the graduates of IPRC Tumba for their excellent technical skills that match the demand of the labour market and Rwanda’s vision of achieving a knowledge-based society.
While the ‘Strengthening the Capacity of Tumba College of Technology Phase 2’ is phasing out, the envoy promised to continue the partnership with their Rwandan counterparts.
“This is one of our most successful projects in Rwanda. The Japanese Government is always happy to work with you for your national development,” he said.
The Minister of Education, Dr. Eugene Mutimura, appreciated the strong bilateral ties between Rwanda and Japan which led to the support extended to IPRC Tumba over a decade ago.
“On behalf of the Government of Rwanda I wish to extend special thanks to the Government of Japan. We are very excited for the partnership and specifically, for your support towards IPRC Tumba and the education sector as a whole,” he said.
Since the inauguration to date, a total of 1,834 students have graduated from IPRC Tumba.