The Workforce Development Authority (WDA) has launched a new programme dubbed Rwanda TVET Qualification Framework (RTQF) that is aimed at harmonising the curricula among technical and vocation institutes.
During the launch that took place at Kicukiro Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre, the Director General, WDA, Jerome Gasana, observed that the framework was a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and other partners geared towards promoting skills development for job creation and economic advancement as well as social transformation in Rwanda.
He stated that a good TVET system is one that is able to produce graduates with capacity to offer readily usable skills.
"With the RTQF, we plan to attain internationally benchmarked TVET qualifications that allow full labour mobility in the region and internationally," Gasana stated.
In an interview with The New Times, the State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Mathias Harebamungu, said the country is the second among the EAC member states to launch a TVET Qualification Framework after Tanzania.
"The RTQF is a very big milestone with regard to the improvement of the quality of education in the TVET sector because it has international component standards," Dr Harebamungu said.
He said that students in the institutions previously lacked a sense of direction saying that RTQF would act as guiding tool to help students know the level of education attained as it is a module-based qualification framework and not a yearly-based one.
The government plans to increase the number of students pursuing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses to 60 per cent of the total secondary school student population in the country by 2017, and according to the Minister, the RTQF would help reach this target.
"The whole idea of having a TVET qualification framework is to put more emphasis on courses that are demand-driven and which increase job-creation opportunities," said the minister.
John Gasana, the Chairman of Technical and Vocational Schools Associations, (TEVSA) commented: "I thank WDA for launching the RTQF because this will help vocational and technical schools in the country to harmonise and operate in an organised manner."
He said that the framework would help promote the quality of education among TVET schools in the country.
Gedeon Rudahunga, the Principal, Integrated Polytechnic Centre - Southern Province, said that the framework would help students in TVET schools to acquire the relevant employable skills and the requisite competence on the labour market both regionally and internationally.