The first technical teachers’ training institute is set to open in Kigali in December, three years after its construction was started. Construction of the $5-million (about Rfw4 billion) Rwanda Technical Teacher Institute (RTTI) is funded by Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
The institute is located at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) Kigali campus in Kicukiro District.
According to the Principal of IPRC-Kigali, Diogène Mulindahabi, RTTI comes to address the issue of the low capacity of TVET trainers.
He said the project had different components and, so far, everything was going according to plan.
“The project has several components and the big component was the construction of the centre and furnishing the building. The other component was to equip the programmes like machines and air conditioning refrigeration equipment. We are waiting for furniture but everything else is going according to plan,” Mulindahabi said.
Another component of the project was the pilot training of trainers using the new equipment as well as training the managers who will be coordinating the running of RTTI.
“We have many TVET trainers in TVET schools but they mostly haven’t been trained to become teachers. They could, for example, be engineers but not trained to teach. The target is continuous training and that’s why even during holidays, the centre will be busy,” he said.
The centre has the main building complete with lecture rooms, laboratory, seminar room, and offices of the professors. Another wing is a hostel that can house 60 people, including students with disabilities, a cafeteria and the dining hall.
RTTI will not only train but it will also coordinate all the training programmes across the country.
Mulindahabi said, after equipping the institute, the Government will take over and the centre will be fully integrated into the existing structure of TVET institutions.
Kim Eui-Kyeomg, the KOICA chief expert overseeing the RTTI project, said teams of experts were sent in from Korea to work on the project.
“After we are done, Workforce Development Authority (WDA) will take over. I heard that there are around 5,000 in-service TVET trainers already but until this project, there was no technical teacher training institute. Though there were already some training of trainers, there was need for more competent trainers and capacity building for it to be done in a more professional and organised manner,” he said.
The Director-General of WDA, Jerome Gasana, said his institution has been fully involved in the project from the beginning saying that the institute was another step toward improving capacity of trainers and the quality of education that they impart.
“We designed the project with our partners, the Koreans who were already supporting IPRC-Kigali. Since we have almost achieved the infrastructure, it was now time to start focusing on how to move ahead with the quality of education. To be able to do that, we must have very qualified teachers and that’s why we are working on increasing the quality of teachers and to have teachers who can use the latest technology,” Gasana said.