The Ministry of Education plans to give feeding support and capitation grants to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools.
Appearing before lawmakers this week, the Minister of State in charge of TVET, Olivier Rwamukwaya, announced that this is part of new interventions to improve technical education enrolment.
While feeding was catered for in the financial year 2016/17 budget, the capitation grant is provided for in the 2017/18 financial year, according to the minister.
The ministry has been providing capitation grants in primary and secondary schools according to the number of pupils.
In primary schools, each pupil is allocated Rwf5,000 and Rwf11,000 in secondary, according to information from the ministry.
Rwamukwaya was appearing before lawmakers to respond to TVET issues that were identified in a report by the parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security.
MP Gaston Rusiha said accommodation also remains a big challenge mainly at Kinihira Vocational Training Centre (VTC), Kirehe VTC and Kabarondo VTC, where students reported that they could not study there due to lack of accommodation.
“All VTCs do not have required specialties. A student from Rubavu must be able to study where they offer his course of interest as long as there is accommodation,” the legislator said, urging stakeholders to seek a solution.
To this, Minister Rwamukwaya said the Government was working with private investors to set up hostels near TVET schools.
“This will help students to enroll in courses of their choice regardless of location,” he added.
However, the minister noted that the Government will continue to set up more schools near residential places, where learners can be based in their home to study.
Meanwhile, MPs lauded the fact that girls are embracing TVET courses.
The 2016 Statistical Yearbook by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda says 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.
Male students accounted for over 58 per cent of all TVET students in 2015.
MP John Ruku-Bwabyoma said TVET-related employment has proven to be more paying than general-study employment, whereby a TVET graduate can earn up to $50 (aout Rwf40,000) an hour for fixing electrical installation.
To this end, MPs called on Rwandans to change old mentality about TVET.