Rwanda: New Deal to Provide TVET Students With Entrepreneurial Skills

Rwanda Polytechnic and Korea's Handong Global University are set to implement a project that aims at creating jobs through entrepreneurship training for TVET students over the next five years.

The project has started by teaching over 100 trainers who will in turn train thousands of TVET students on entrepreneurship skills to develop and implement business ideas as a way of creating jobs.

About 1,500 TVET students, especially from Integrated Polytechnic Regional Colleges (IPRCs), are expected to develop business ideas and become entrepreneurs.

The move follows a recent agreement between the University of Rwanda and Handong Global University for startup and entrepreneurship education as part of its EDCF (Economic Development Cooperation Fund) project of the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Korea

According to Dr James Gashumba, the Vice-Chancellor of Rwanda Polytechnic, the initiative aims at developing entrepreneurship skills among teachers and staff in general in TVET schools and then help students to become entrepreneurs.

At least Rwf155 million will be invested in the training programme to ensure that every year, each student who graduates from the eight colleges joins the labour market with job creation skills.

At least 2,000 students graduate from IPRCs every year in different programs like Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Hospitality Management and others.

There are over 5,000 teachers in TVET schools.

However, Gashumba said teaching should go along with entrepreneurship skills and National Employment Programme.

Since 2017, Rwanda Polytechnic and development partners have trained and awarded certificates to 9,650 youth under National Employment Programs through various training approaches such as massive vocational training, rapid response training, industrial-based training and others.

"We need to grow the private sector by changing TVET students and other youth into good entrepreneurs. They should change the mindset and develop viable business ideas and innovations," he said.

Under the five-year strategic plan between 2019 and 2024, the government needs over Rwf100 billion to streamline Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in order to release qualified graduates into both national and international labour markets with competent skills to even create their own jobs It also aims at creating at least 1.5 million off-farm jobs by 2024.

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