The Government of Rwanda has worked hard towards improving technical skills development in the country. One of the ways it has done this is by setting up technical schools across the country under the umbrella organization known as Technical and Vocational Schools’ Association (TEVSA).
TEVSA was set up in January 2008, and is an outcome of the Dutch Subsidy Program (DSP) that started operating in Rwanda from the SOS Hermann Gmeiner Technical School in 2005.
According to John Gaga the association’s chairman, TEVSA recognizes the needs and challenges facing Technical and Vocational Education in Rwanda and works towards finding solutions to these setbacks.
“TEVSA is involved in a number of activities that aim at enhancing and improving the quality of Technical and Vocational Education in Rwanda,” added Gaga, also the Director of SOS School.
With its headquarters Kigali, the association works with over 30 schools from different provinces of the country.
Several schools from the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western provinces including Kigali city are part of TEVSA. Together with the Ministry of Education and Workforce Development Authority (WDA) as well as development partners such as DED, JICA, GTZ and SOS Kinderdorpen Netherlands, a technical and training structure has been set up.
Pascal Nzahirirwa a teacher from ET Kimisange said that that by joining TEVSA, the management of his school has been improved.
“We are trained in management systems and this has enabled us to run our schools smoothly,” said Nzahirirwa.
By contributing to the development of relevant and competitive human resources, many talented students have been provided with a reliable, quality driven and practical education they need.
“The number of the students has increased because so many people are seeing the value of technical schools in Rwanda,” added Pacifique Musengima a teacher from ETL Masaka, who attend the training.
Teachers are given hands-on trainings on entrepreneurship skills so that they can use the acquired skills to equip their students with economically viable techniques.
Serge Niyibizi from GS Parents School is one of the beneficiaries of this program who acknowledges the necessity of using practical modes of teaching as opposed to only theoretical lesson plans.
“Students have been equipped to become job creators immediately after they graduate and this has reduced the unemployment gap in the country,” Niyibizi said.
In a coalition with organisations such as; the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Deutscher Entwickungs Dient (DED), Japan International Cooperation (JICA) and SOS, a considerable amount of funding has been raised.
Alpha Ba, the German Technical Assistant at TEVSA, who operates at the KIST Remera premises said that there is a lot to gain from technical education.
“Many of our schools do not have enough resources but when we came together under this organization, the level of our education has gone up. Now we sit a similar exam to promote the level of excellence in all technical schools,” Ba said.
Technical Education has become a vital element that has contributed to the education of Rwandans in skills development and implementation.
Therefore more emphasis needs to be channeled towards practical modes of education as well.