The Workforce Development Authority (WDA) is committed to impart skills to students in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools, an offical has said.
The Director General of WDA, Jerome Gasana, made the remarks on Monday in Huye District where he led a team that toured various TVET based activities in the Southern Province district.
The tour was part of the ‘TVET Week’ intended to assess the progress toward achieving TVET targets countrywide.
The Week started with the TVET Expo in Gikondo, Kigali on Saturday.
He said, they envisage contributing toward broadening the country’s through TVET to complement coffee, mineral among other exports.
“How can we export products made in Rwanda or human resource to the international market? For example, if there are roads to be constructed out there, why can’t Rwandans be the ones to do the job? Rwandans have a good track record which can be leveraged to export labour,” he noted.
He said the first focus is to achieve quality products.
We want ‘Made in Rwanda’ products, to be competitive on regional and international markets; that’s what we have embarked on,” he said.
In 2014, there were 40 per centstudents who enrolled in TVET schools countrywide against the government target of 60 per cent by 2017/18.
Gasana said there are so far about 92,000 TVET students, but the number is expected to raise to 190,000.
Gasana said the institute of TVET teachers that’s under construction and due for completion next year will contribute to the achievement of this goal.
The construction works on the $5 million (about Rwf3.6 billion) facility located at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) Kigali in Kicukiro District started in June, 2015.
It is expected to enhance TVET skills mainly through training of TVET teachers.
‘‘We have adopted an apprenticeship system of teaching whereby students learn from companies, besides the conventional classes,’’ Gasana said.
He said there are about 800 students who have already completed vocational course in the hospitality industry in various hotels, some in Musanze, Karongi, Rwamagana and Kayonza.
Others are learning modern practices of laying stones along laterite roads in Kigali city, he added.
“We have students who are learning how to shape stones, with the support of NPD Cotraco ( a constuction company). That’s’ where they will study from until they graduate and enter the job market,” he said.
The Principal of Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre South (IPRC South), Dr Barnabe Twabagira, said there is now a committee where TVET policy implementers and the private sector meet to discuss their cooperation.
Erwin De Wandel, Minister Counselor at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium to Rwanda, observed that TVET plays a key role in socio-economic development.
The Belgium Common TVET Support Programme (PAFP) which is set to wind up this December, has been supporting TVET development in the country mainly in the Southern Province.
The interventions of the six-year project, worth 11 million Euros, included training of TVET trainers, construction of infrastructure and provision of equipment to 24 pilot schools in the Southern Province.
The visits to TVET schools and various TVET related activities were conducted in the Southern, Western and Northern Provinces by teams comprising of Rwandans, delegations from neighbouring countries, those from other African countries like Zambia, Liberia and beyond.