up to 19,749 candidates passed Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) examinations in 2017, representing 89.36 per cent of all the 22,101 candidates who sat the exams, results released by the Ministry of Education on Friday show.
Those who passed qualified for A2 certificate.
Overall, pass rate for TVET students in examinations improved from 88.3 per cent in 2015, to 88.4 per cent in 2016, to 89.36 per cent in 2017, according to statistics from Workforce Development Authority (WDA).
The number of candidates registered for TVET exams was 22,303, while 22,101 candidates (99%) sat the exams.
Of these, 10,072 were females, representing 45.1 per cent, while 12,231 (about 54.8%) were males.
Candidates were from a total of 184 TVET schools, of which 57 are public or government aided, while 127 are private schools.
Some 11,119 male candidates got certificate out of all candidates who passed, representing 54.8 percent in 2015.
They increased to 12,027 (about 56.5% of all who passed) in 2016, but slightly regressed to 10,999 (or 55.6% of the total candidates who passed), representing a decrease of 0.82 per cent.
At least 9,143 (about 45.1%) was the number of female candidates who got certificates out of all candidates who passed. In 2016, females accounted for 9,257, about 43.4 per cent of all candidates who passed in 2016.
But, in 2017, 8,750 female candidates got a certificate after getting a pass score, representing 44.3 per cent of all candidates who passed.
A total of 25 courses were done in TVET in 2017, including graphic arts, computer sciences, accountancy, crop production, ceramic tailoring, ceramic mechanics, hotel operations and motor vehicle mechanics.
Govt on track to achieve target
Meanwhile, the government’s target to have 60 percent of students enrolled in TVET schools is gaining momentum, according to Olivier Rwamukwaya, the Minister of State for TVET.
In 2016, about 47 per cent of students who had finished the lower level of secondary school enrolled in TVET, Rwamukwaya said, pointing out that, though figures have not yet been consolidated, the percentage is estimated to be over 50 per cent as of end 2017.
Figures from the Ministry of Education show that 38 per cent of students were enrolled in TVET schools in the academic year 2013/2014.
The minister said government puts emphasis on technical and vocational courses so as to address the issue of unemployment.
“It is a journey. We will not achieve that in one year, but there is hope based on the strategies in place,” he said, observing that the aim is not increasing TVET population only in number, but also in the outcome.
He pointed out that it is easier for TVET graduates to get jobs or create own jobs than those who do conventional courses.
A survey carried out in 2015 showed that almost 80 per cent of TVET graduates get jobs within six months after their graduation.
“We hope that 100 percent of them can get jobs, because they study courses which they can immediately use to create jobs, or facilitate their access to jobs especially as they are most needed based on the country’s development activities such as construction, building roads, which need mass and skilled workers,” he said.
Rwamukwaya said one of the means to achieve the target is to increase places to receive students, who want to pursue TVET studies after completing the lower level of secondary school, through expansion of public TVET schools and giving them more capacity, as well as setting up new schools.
There is a programme to set up 14 TVET schools thanks to a loan (of $81million (about Rwf69 billion)from India’s EXIM Bank, a development the minister said is in line with increasing space for enrolment into TVET schools.
“We are happy that Rwandans in general have embraced TVET because they have understood its importance,” he said.
TVET curricula were revised to be competency based and focus on practical courses and training instead of theory which was the case for the old curricula, according to Rwamukwaya.
The revised curricula was rolled out last year, and Rwamukwaya said will help enhance the quality of TVET education.
Speaking to The New Times, Dr Barnabe Twabagira, the Principal of Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre South (IPRC South), said that TVET is important to the economic development of the country and welfare of the people, noting that they are prepared to enroll new students.
“Every year, the Ministry of Education determines those who should be admitted at the university. We receive those who studied TVET, and those who studied sciences. We have trained teachers and equipment to help the students acquire quality education,” he said.
He, however, said that there is still a challenge of lack of enough placements for TVET students for internship that’s needed to have more practical training.