The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Sharon Haba, has expressed the need for private institutions to collaborate with government to help technical graduates get employed as a way to develop the country.
Haba made the call on Friday while officiating at the second graduation of more than 240 at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre based at Kicukiro College of Technology in Kigali.
The graduates were from various disciplines, including Civil Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Information and Communication Technologies, and Mechanical Engineering among others.
According to Haba, the graduates are ready and competent enough to work with private institutions and she urged the latter to hire them.
"Private sectors play into the country's development, we can't achieve this without your support," she said. "These graduates need your support offering jobs, training them while at work and even guiding them how to be self-employed." She said.
She added that the government, through the Workforce Development Authority (WDA), will keep developing the curriculum qualifying what private sectors need so that graduates are more productive when they are out of school.
She encouraged females to join technical schools and shun some wrong beliefs that they are not able to join such schools or can fail to perform well once they join them. "Be committed to transform your skills into practice, keep training yourselves to sharpen your knowledge as techniques are inexact," she told the graduates.
The official said the government is committed to increase technical schools and train teachers to improve the quality of education.
According to the chairman of the Board of Directors for WDA, John Bonds Bideri, the graduates are needed at labor market to play the role in the development.
He however urged them to join cooperatives and seek support from incubation centers to help them start their own businesses.
Graduates speak out
Some of the graduates said they have got a good package of skills and they are ready to compete on the labour market and create their own jobs.
"There are already ten companies founded by the graduates, we wish WDA would give more support to them so that members would really expand their projects and those who are yet to start their projects can be supported since we all have good ideas which can bare fruits," said Leonard Ushizimpumpu.
Ushizimpumpu who has also been the Guild President at the campus, requested the technical school to increase didactic materials to match the increasing number of students.
For Gisele Niyonziza, a graduate in the ICT department who also won an award of having presented the best final project, the best way to apply her skills is to be her own boss.
"I am now ready to go out and compete on the labor market. However, I would rather create my own job to earn more instead of waiting to be employed," she said.
Jean Pierre Kayihura who graduated from Mechanical Engineering said: "It is not necessary to apply for a job because we have created a cooperative of mechanical engineering and WDA promised support through its incubation center. The project is there and we are dealing with them, if we get the support to start we will do that instead of waiting for jobs."
Eric Rusingiza from Mechanical Engineering said: "I have not yet got a job and neither have I joined any cooperative, but I hope I will get it soon since the market is still wide."