National theoretical exams follow practical ones in TVET for Technical Secondary School (TSS/A2) candidates that were conducted in September.
Minister Nsengiyumva told the students to put more emphasis on languages, especially English, saying that this was most crucial once they get to the labour market.
“You should especially have a good command of the English, because, in the near future, you will find it’s not enough to have technical and vocational skills alone; you need to communicate in your career,” Nsengiyumva said.
At the school, 396 candidates are sitting the exams, in the sections of accounting and computer sciences.
Technical schools graduate students that are needed in hospitality, banking business, civil engineering, among other trades.
Alphonsine Murekatete, the director of ASPEJ, shares the minister’s sentiments.
“The level of English in our school is not very interesting; this is attributed to the background of the students because for many of them, English was not a priority during their ordinary level of secondary school…teachers themselves are not very perfect in languages,” Murekatete said.
She said such skills become more crucial for those who go to work in the hospitality industry, because they require constant interaction with the clientele.
Jean-Paul Nsanzimana, the manager of La Palme Hotel in Musanze District, said it seems educators have forgotten about languages today.
“Senior six graduates hardly express themselves,” Nsanzimana said.
Lack of Internet
He said in their industry, English is a must because of the people from different backgrounds they entertain.
“It is embarrassing finding your employee gesticulating with a client who speaks English,” he added.
La Palme has engaged the services of English coaches for their staff. The coaching programme has been going on for the past two months, Nsanzimana said.
Although ASPEJ has a section of Computer Science, the nearly 30 computers in their laboratory are not connected to the Internet.
The minister advised the private school to do their best and get connected, saying it is difficult to study Computer Science without Internet.
Nsengiyumva promised to advocate for the school to have Internet next year.
Students from the school shared constraints related to unreliable supply of electricity which they said goes off in the evening hours, even during this time as they prepared for examination period.