An Ivorian delegation led by state minister for employment and professional training, Moussa Dosso, is on a three-day study tour to get a better understanding of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Rwanda.
The visit, Workforce Development Authority director-general Jerome Gasana said, will pave the way toward strengthening African cooperation in TVET.
“We are organising a conference between September and October on that cooperation. This team has come so that we share experience on our achievements ahead of the meeting,” Gasana said.
The delegation visited Nyarutarama Vocational and Business Incubation Centre, which was opened earlier this year.
The centre started with 60 students who freely benefit from vocational training in 17 manufacturing projects such as ceramics, bakery, manufacture of toilet paper and napkins, tailoring, soya milk manufacturing, popcorn and ice cream cone making, tomato ketchup and many more.
The Ivorian minister said they were very inspired by the incubation centre system that trains youth in a short time but with practical knowledge to start small businesses, as well as how the government closely follows graduates and supports them with capital to make use of their vocational knowledge.
“We came to Rwanda to work on developing cooperation programmes. The first step is to share experience at employment level where we have seen Rwanda is acting. We are very concerned with youth employment, we all target solutions and that is why we have to find which experience to share from Rwanda,” Dosso said.
“What has, for example, inspired me is making dishes in ceramic. African states are importing more for our industries. We need to exploit local materials. The Rwandan system inspires in terms of eventual financial support to start their own small businesses since Training is not only sufficient.”
The delegation will also visit other TVET schools such as the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centres (IPRC), the private sector, the social security agency (RSSB) and various stakeholders.
Emmanuel Hategekimana completed his advanced level in Agronomy in 2007 but since then he could not get job.
Then after a couple of jobless years, he left his home in Kamonyi District to join the centre.
“I came to Kigali to be a security guard, wages were useless yet my dream was always to learn other skills. I consider this training as a scholarship as we do not pay school fees. I preferred ceramics as it is new in Africa and Rwanda and is marketable. In my, experience theories are no longer relevant,” Hategekimana said.
Rachel Abimana said last year she failed her Ordinary Level exams, when she could not pay for private school to continue, she then preferred to study TVET instead of wandering the streets.
Gasana said the aim was to seek how to compete on the labor market by using Made in Rwanda products, which requires qualified personnel, raw materials, teachers, and curriculum all targeting at least 200,000 new off-farm jobs every year.
TVET schools are categorised in three levels; vocational training centers that offer short courses, one month up to one year, technical secondary schools and university level training, IPRC.
There are already about 365 TVETs schools of which 70 per cent are owned by private entities. Gasana said by 2017, 60 per cent of children will be joining TVET.