Seven Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions face closure in Southern Province because of poor performance.
The decision follows a survey commissioned by Workforce Development Authority (WDA) to identify challenges in TVET sector that found that Mata VTC, Save VTC, Centre de Formation Professionelle et Artisanale, CEP Busoro, City of Joy, Kabuga VTC and Kinyamakara VTC were performing below average.
The WDA survery was done this year in TVET institutions in the province. There are 90 TVET institutions in Southern Province.
“Schools were ranked based on their performance. Those that excelled were given a grade ‘A’. Those that received ‘B’ and ‘C’ tried to meet the TVET standards but those that received a ‘D’ grade were struggling to operate and were in danger of closure if nothing was done to improve their operations,” Dr Barnabé Twabagira, the principal of Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre South (IPRC South), said.
The findings were made public at a meeting that brought together officials from the WDA, District and Sector Education Officers and various mayors and vice mayors in Southern Province on Tuesday.
The meeting, at Huye District offices, aimed at finding solutions to the challenges facing TVET sector.
Dr Twabagira said while some institutions were doing well, others were trailing behind and needed special attention.
Officials blamed the poor performance of the mainly private vocational institutions on their prioritisation of profits over performance of their graduates in the job market.
The Deputy Director-General in Charge of Training at WDA, Irené Nsengiyumva, said the government has been supporting private TVET institutions by exempting taxes on the importation of equipment.
Under the second Economic and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), the government aims to create 200,000 off-farm jobs and TVET is one of the mechanisms to achieve this goal.
In 2014, statistics from WDA showed that the number of students in TVETs rose from 74,320 in 2012 to 92,888 in 2014.
The government targets 134,185 students in TVET institutions by 2018.
Dr Twabagira urged TVET institutions to focus on delivering relevant skills to their students.
“TVET graduates should be equipped with the skills needed to create jobs. To do this, we must build the capacity of their instructors,” he said.