GICUMBI — A number of students tend to give up in life when they fail to join higher institutions of learning, but this should not be the case.
In Gicumbi District, youth who complete primary or secondary education and fail to go further with their education, have managed to acquire vocational skills that enable them to create their own jobs.
A mini survey carried out by The New Times at the weekend in Byumba Sector, revealed that majority of the youth who have acquired vocational skills, at Kibali Vocational Training Center, are absorbed in various public and private companies as technicians, while others create their own jobs as motor vehicle mechanics, carpenters and builders.
“Majority of the youth who pass through this vocational training center are employed in various industries all over the country,” says the Director of Kibali Vocational Training Center, Eugene Ruzindana.
Started in 1999, the centre currently has 180 students undertaking a one-year course in different vocational skills. These include motor vehicle mechanics, welding, carpentry, catering and masonry.
“We have eight qualified lecturers whose salaries are paid for by the government, while Gicumbi District authorities meets our related expenses,” added Ruzindana.
Jean de Dieu Ngendahimana, is a former student of Kibali Vocational Training Center. He is employed by UNHCR as a generator technician at the Nyabiheke refugee camp in Gatsibo District, in the Eastern Province. He says his economic status has drastically improved over the last year, since he graduated from the center.
“I earn an income of over Rwf.5,000 daily from repair or servicing of generators and even machineries such as sorghum or cassava grinding mills. In addition, I perform my duties as a generator technician at the refugee camp,” he says.
Brandine Kantire, another former student at the same vocational center says after completing her training in 2006,that she got a job in the same institution as a garage maintenance technician.
She later on got a scholarship from the centre to go for further studies at Samduha Integrated College in Kigali, where she acquired a higher diploma in Automobile Mechanics.
“I currently offer my services in motor vehicle maintenance in garages and companies around Kigali, but hope to go back to Kibali Vocational Training center as a lecturer very soon,” said Kantire.
Deogratius Mwanafunzi, the district director of education, says equipping vocational training centres is one of their priority programmes this year.
“Many youth who drop out of school for one reason or another need to be prepared to create their own jobs or be equipped with skills to get jobs in public and private companies, which is why the district closely monitors the education standards offered at the vocational training centres,” said Mwanafunzi.
It seems that the centre has managed to shine a ray of hope to youth who would otherwise be hopeless.