Eleven schools and 33 teachers who demonstrated outstanding commitment and results in the implementation of the second phase of Akazi Kanoze programme have been awarded.
The programme is implemented by Education Development Centre in partnership with the Ministry of Education and The MasterCard Foundation. The programme focuses on work readiness skills, training students on entrepreneurship, leadership, communication and other market relevant skills.
The award giving ceremony that took place recently at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) Kigali was themed “Celebrating Pioneers of a Solid Foundation”.
The winners went away with different prizes, including computers, printers, tablets, projectors and many other devices
One school and three teachers were awarded from each district. The teachers were awarded in three categories of ‘most innovative’, ‘most enterprising’ and ‘most inspiring’.
Martyrs Secondary School Remera topped the eleven schools awarded.
“When I teach, I am not limited to the module but I put it into the actual context; that’s why my students are encouraged to attend classes and two of them have started their own businesses. Besides, I am always committed to give my best,” said Paul Bigirimana, who was awarded as the most inspiring teacher at the national level.
Students hailed the programme, which they say, helped them improve work readiness skills.
“We have gained different leadership, interpersonal communication skills, as well as how to create our own jobs,” said Rosine Uwera, a student at FAWE Girls School.
According to Steve Kamanzi, the Education Development Centre country director, self-employment starts early.
“It is important to teach students about employment early. With this programme, students are well-equipped and ready to meet the market demand once they graduate,” he said.
Kamanzi said that besides teaching, they conduct an employer’s satisfaction survey, to monitor the students and see how they deliver at work.
Jerome Gasana, the director-general at the Workforce Development Authority (WDA), reiterated the significance of the programme, saying it instills the entrepreneurship culture among students and makes them ready to face the reality in the labour market.
He appreciated all partners in this programme which, he said, makes it easy for many youth to get jobs or start their own.
The Akazi Kanoze 2 programme is currently being implemented in 150 schools, technical vocational education and training (TVET) and secondary schools across the 11 districts of Kigali City and the Southern Province.
With the introduction of the new competence-based curriculum this year, the work readiness skills are being taught in all senior four classes nationwide. The rollout will also proceed in Senior Five and Senior Six in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The Akazi Kanoze Youth Livelihoods Project begun as a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project implemented by Education Development Centre in collaboration with local and international partners.
It started with Rwandan out-of-school youth, providing them with market relevant and work readiness training and support, hands-on training opportunities, and linking them to the employment and entrepreneurship job market.
Since its initiation in 2009, the programme has equipped over 20,000 youth with market relevant skills.