The New Times (Kigali)

24 August 2014

Rwanda: Students Showcase Unique Innovations At TVET Expo

A TEN-DAY mini exhibition, featuring mainly works from students from various technical and vocational education and training (TVET) schools across the Southern Province, has opened in Huye District.

The exhibition, due to conclude next Saturday, also attracted a dozen of private craftsmen from the province.

It aims at showcasing student innovations and creating bonds between the schools and community.

It is the second time such an exhibition is taking place in the province. This year's exhibition attracted about 100 exhibitors, mainly TVET schools.

It was organised by the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) South in partnership with the Belgian Support Programme for Vocational Training (PAFP).

Barnabe Twabagira, IPRC-South principal, said the annual exercise is aimed at showcasing the work of technical and vocational schools and "possibly inspire residents into joining the field" for future development.

Among some of the products on display include wood and metal furniture, electrical and electronic devices, mechanical, architecture, civil engineering and food products.

Some stands have impressive works and have attracted many visitors.

Among them is a stand showcasing a 'regenerative charger', a power generator that uses car battery. Developed by students and teachers at the IPRC South, the engine uses a fully charged car battery to generate up to 600 watts and has an output voltage capacity of between 175 and 230VAC.

Initiators of the technology, who described it as eco-friendly, affordable, innovative and powerful, believe it could in the future replace fuel-powered generators.

Also showcased are a number of eco-friendly and energy-saving stoves as well as automated technologies that could be used to heat or cool houses, cook food, conduct irrigation schemes, as well as open or close gates using a mobile phone device.

"Technological innovation could greatly impact the way we live and act," said Isaac Nkundimana, an exhibitor from VTC Nyanza.

Huye District mayor Eugene Kayiranga Muzuka commended the initiative, saying it was in line with the government's long-term vision of building stronger communities and attaining socio-economic development.

He said investing in technical and vocational training is key to 'job creation, innovation and development."

He urged TVET schools to invest in innovation and champion high-quality products and services that will help transform the lives of Rwandans.

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