A total of 21,935candidates in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) yesterday began their 2017 national examinations.
The national examinations for TVET candidates will be conducted in two sessions, including practical exams which run from September 20 to 29 and written exams to run from November 22 to December 1.
In the first segment, the candidates will be doing practical exams and presenting their research projects.
The candidates include 9,948 female who represent 45.35 per cent while boys are 11,987 (54.65 per cent).
Up to 21,602 are school candidates while 333 are private.
Covering 25 trades such as electrical engineering, agriculture, forestry, design, accountancy, construction, hotel operations, secretarial service, public works, and general mechanics, the exams will be conducted in 117 centres and examined by 1,026 assessors.
During the launch of the practical exams at Saint Joseph Integrated Polytechnic in Kigali yesterday, the State Minister for TVET, Olivier Rwamukwaya, thanked private schools for promoting technical education in the country, adding that the Government is proud of growing enrolment of students in technical schools.
Rwamukwaya said TVET graduates on the labour market have proven competent, thanks to adequate teaching materials and experienced teachers in TVET schools.
To ensure their competence, the minister said that during examinations the candidates must pass practical exams as well as present their research projects on various topics which helps examiners evaluate their skills.
“Technical schools play a big role in increasing job opportunities. Graduates have more chances to be self- employed once they complete their studies. The public should change their perception on technical studies,” he added.
Gerome Gasana, the director-general of Workforce Development Authority, said girls have become more competitive in technical and vocational schools, adding that the target is to keep on encouraging more girls to take up technical, technology, engineering and science-related courses.
“TVET graduates are now impacting hospitality and textile sectors. We are also strengthening construction sector, among others, to increase locally made products as well as reduce funds spent on imported goods,” Gasana said.
Sharon Mbabazi, 18, a candidate in Surveying at Saint Joseph Integrated Polytechnic, expressed confidence she would succeed in her examination and was ready to compete on the labour market.
“I started my practical exams and nothing was new because we did what we had learnt in class. It is my pleasure to have joined technical courses, a field girls still have misconception about. In class, we are only five girls out 16 students and girls perform outstandingly,” Mbabazi said.
She advised other girls to fear nothing but dare to use their ability to make themselves self–dependent.
“Practical courses are not difficult as I had feared. I am ready to use my skills to bring changes in the community as well as to the development of the country,” said Emmanuel Bizima, another student.