The Ministry of Education is planning to extend feeding support and capitation grants to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools.
The Minister of State in charge of TVET, Olivier Rwamukwaya, told lawmakers this week that the move is part of new interventions to improve technical education enrollment.
TVET is a critical ingredient in the country’s efforts to transform the economy and achieve middle income status. It is the approach that countries the world over are embracing to curtail the high levels of unemployment linked to conventional education, which produces job seekers instead of job creators. This is why any initiative aimed at improving technical and vocational education should be supported by all stakeholders.
Indeed, government has heavily invested in TVET and these efforts are already paying off as the number of people enrolling for TVET education has gradually increased over the years.
According to the 2016 Statistical Yearbook by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), male students in TVET institutions increased from 35,843 in 2011 to 54,912 in 2015. The number of female students went up from 32,076 in 2011 to 39,461 in 2015.
Therefore, the proposed extra support from the Education ministry will ensure that these gains are sustained while more youths will be attracted to technical and vocational training institutions.
However, more still needs to be done to change society’s mindset that vocational education is for those who fail to get grades required to enroll at university. TVET is the way to go and more sensitisation drives should be undertaken to educate people about the immense benefits of pursuing technical and vocational education.
If the current focus on TVET is maintained the government’s goal of having at least 60 per cent of students enrolling for TVET will be achieved earlier than expected.