The Ministry of Education through the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) is on course to have at least 60 percent of students completing the Nine Year Basic Education join Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools by 2024, officials have said.
Jérôme Gasana, Director General of WDA told Sunday Times that so far over 52 per cent are joining TVET schools.
The progress, he said, means more youth will be able to create jobs or gain competencies that help them get jobs on the labour market
"We have many initiatives to meet the target such as increasing the number of TVET schools to attract more students. Next year, we will have14 more TVET schools to add to the current 402," he said.
Gasanaadded that over 22,300 TVET students will be sitting for their practical exams from 19th to 28th September 2018.The other strategy to increase the number of students in TVETS, he noted, is encouraging more girls to join such schools since they are still few.
The institution is currently scaling up seven modules that aim at attracting more girls into joining, practicing and benefiting from TVET courses after assessing that girls' enrollment in such courses is between 20% and 40% while there is target of having 50 percent in these schools by 2020
He noted that government will build four big incubation centers in Huye, Rubavu, Nyarugenge and Nyagatare district starting in February next year under the financial support from the Indian government.
Soon every TVET school will have an incubation center for studentspracticals so that they meet the acquired skills demanded by the labour market.
"Those schools must also have financial literacy programs so that the TVET students are able to turn technical skills into entrepreneurship ventures," he stressed.
Partnering with the private sector
"We are putting more efforts in working in private sector so that these schools become research centers. With this, the private sector can pick such students with potential to employ or help start any business in that domain. That is key to national development," he noted.
The official added that another strategy was to teach students through workplaces or industries citing an example of those who can learn working in hotels without necessarily sitting in schools.
Assesing the capacity of those already in the work place but have not gone through schools to get more training and certificates without going back to school is also in the works.
"For instance in this process, we started with 11,000 workers in construction, we will follow with those in beautification such as hair salons and garages. We urge the private sector to work together for TVET schools development so that they deliver on what they are expected of," he said.
"So many companies are telling us that they need graduates from TVET schools and IPRCs. We are seek to increasethe capacity of TVET schools in agriculture and livestock," he said.
"Every year we conduct surveys to assess the impact of TVET schools by looking at how many graduates get jobs within only six months after completing school. In assessment, we have realized that over 73 percent of the graduates employed are commended by employers in the private sector".
Silver Byunga, the student wealth officer at IPRC-TUMBA in Rulindo District said: "Our recent survey indicated that over 70 percent of our TVET graduates are self-employed and others get jobs in different institutions," he said adding that the number of girls is less than 30%.