The New Times (Kigali)

13 November 2012

Rwanda: Private Sector Urged to Invest in Skills Devt

With the ever declining funding of many projects in developing countries, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) now wants the private sector to assist governments to develop skills among the youth in developing countries.

The report indicates that for education to work there is critical need to invest in the youth.

This is according to the latest report on the Education for All Global Monitoring released by the UN body.

The report indicates that for education to work there is critical need to invest in the youth.

The report says there are 200 million people aged 15 to 24 in developing countries who have not even completed primary school hence the need for alternative pathways to acquire basic skills for employment and prosperity.

In a statement, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, said the private sector was the first to benefit from a skilled workforce adding that it must also step up its financial support.

"Reallocating aid could help fill the funding gap. $3.1 billion of aid to post secondary education never reaches the educational systems of developing countries as it is used to fund foreign students in donor countries. These funds could be better spent addressing the skills deficit for disadvantaged youth in poor countries," Bokova said.

In Rwanda, statistics from the Ministry of Public Service and Labour show that 61.5 percent of the working population are young people aged between 16 and 35 years.

While officiating at the opening of second TVET expo held in Gikondo, Kigali recently, the CEO of the Private Sector Federation, Hannington Namara, said the country no longer needs to solicit skills from the region and beyond following efforts to raise the level of local skills needed to leapfrog the economy to middle income status.

"The Technical Vocational Education and Training-TVET programme should generally cater for the minimum skills required," he added.

The government plans to channel 60 percent of its education budget to vocational education by 2017 up from the current 40 per cent. It also targets to have 88 government-owned technical schools as well as 210 private ones.

According to Education for All Global Monitoring, 20 percent of young people in developing countries fail to complete primary school and lack skills.

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