Government is set to construct 14 standardised Technical and Vocational Training and Education schools (TVET) after securing $81million (about Rwf69billion) loan from the Indian government.
This was revealed last week by Jerome Gasana, the Director General of Workforce Development Authority (WDA).
In an exclusive interview with The New Times, Gasana said that the deal was completed late last year and construction is expected to start soon."We submitted a project proposal to Indian government; the total project is worth US $81million as a loan to help us boost vocation education both in quality and quantity, we will use the money to construct ten TVET schools and four business incubation centres," said Gasana last Friday.
He said that the new TVET schools will help increase the number of such schools especially in some districts which were yet to have one.
"Actually we have a plan to increase TVET schools so that enrolment of those who complete O'Level is over 60 percent as the government projection stipulates. For us to achieve this, we need to increase infrastructure, the plan is also to construct at least three modern TVET schools in each district and we started with those which don't have them," he added.
Districts which would benefit from new TVET schools are Nyarugenge, Gakenke, Burera, Nyamasheke, Gatsibo, Kayonza, Rwamagana, Kirehe, Nyagatare, and Nyanza.
Also fully equipped business incubation centres will be set up in four districts of Huye, Rubavu, Nyagatare and Nyarugenge.
The project was approved in November last year and bidders were to submit their bids by January, identifying companies which will construct the schools will have started in April, according to Gasana.
"The money is ready; we want to get these schools as soon as possible and construction will start soon after identifying the contractors," he noted, adding that the construction usually takes about 18 months.
He said that WDA will engage districts to identify what can be offered at their respective districts adding that the plan is to train people who can immediately join the workforce.
"We have identified priority sectors, we have about thirteen sectors but what we wish is that each TVET should offer what is needed in a certain district, when we construct TVET schools we ensure we have standard schools that can offer courses up to the polytechnic level," he said.
Each centre will be able to accommodate between 500 and 1000 students, it will also have accommodation facilities for students and trainers.
Areas of interest which were identified include construction, hospitality and tourism, energy, agriculture, food processing, manufacturing and mining, technical services, ICT, arts and crafts, media and film making, water management and sanitation among others.
District leaders who spoke to The New Times said the TVET centres would boost quality of hands on skills offered to the youth and help them create more jobs while incubation centres would equip graduates with entrepreneurial skills.
"We are very grateful that we are soon getting a TVET school which will have national standards, this will be the best TVET in our district and will help our youth acquire hands on skills that will help them create own jobs as it is the government target," said Gerald Muzungu, the mayor of Kirehe district in Eastern Province
"We will put our priority in construction, mechanics, irrigation, construction, tailoring and we are optimistic more jobs will be created and we will be able to contribute to the national development," he added
Eugene Kayiranga Muzuka, the mayor of Huye district in southern province said the business incubation centre would help people completing TVET education as well as others develop their skills and come up with big projects that would in turn help them create own jobs.
"We have a big number of youth who complete TVET training and others who need to acquire managerial skills and more skills in their trades such as carpentry, the incubation centre will help them get additional skills to start own business, create jobs and employ others," he said.
The government targets to create at least 200,000 off farm jobs annually through various avenues and TVETs are considered as key enabler towards achieving the set target.