Up to 660 students yesterday graduated from the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC-Kigali).
The graduates, including 525 boys and 135 girls, received advanced diplomas in various vocational fields; civil engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, mining engineering, and information and communication technology.
At least 17 graduates in first class upper were awarded laptops.
The State Minister in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Olivier Rwamukwaya, officiated at the graduation ceremony.
Rwamukwaya urged the graduates to act as agents of change in society through employing the knowledge and skills.
He, however, expressed the need for more girls in technical and vocational schools.
Students who enrolled in the academic year 2016-2017 for advanced diploma programmes are 3151, with only 591 females, according to officials.
“We are glad for the success of everyone here, especially graduates, lecturers, and parents and everyone who helped them in their cause. All sectors are supposed to intervene in the development of technical and vocational schools, especially in the rural areas, increasing in training equipment and qualified teachers,” he said.
The minister called upon all technical schools to align their courses with the new national curriculum effective this year, noting that it was developed in line with the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) and Vision 2020 that seek to build a knowledge-based economy.
“We don’t want you to sit home waiting to work for others, we want you to be your own bosses,” he told the graduates.
The Principal, Eng. Diogene Murindahabi, commended the government and other partners for supporting them through, industrial training, financing, among others.
He also said that they will continue to play their role to ensure that the three pillars of access, relevance and quality are pursued to uphold the standards of TVET.
The graduates, through their representative, Faustin Mwunveneza, appreciated the government, parents and other stakeholders for their support.
He appealed to the government to reward best students with scholarships for further studies.
Angelique Kaneza, the only female among the star graduates, expressed her gratitude to the college, especially the lecturers for their support.
She promised to utilise her acquired knowledge to develop the country.
“I started studies here bothered about what society would think seeing me do a male course but I was wrong. I came to like my career, that’s why I even performed well in our class.”
She encouraged girls to have self confidence, saying whatever a man does a woman can do as they all have the same capacity.