Govt secures $80 million to build 10 vocational schools
Government, through Workforce Development Authority (WDA), is finalising plans to break ground for the construction of 10 specialised Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools across the country.
According to officials, the development is part of an effort to have at least 60 per cent of students who complete ordinary level of high school join vocational education.
The target had previously been set for 2018, but it was later revised to 2024 due to lack of enough infrastructure and teaching staff among other constraints.
Rwanda, in partnership with the Indian government, through the Indian Export and Import Bank (EXIM bank), secured a soft loan of $81 million (approximately Rwf72 billion) to fund the project.
According to Jonah Kwikiriza, the Acting Coordinator of the Single Project Implementation Unit at WDA, they have already mapped out where the facilities will be built.
“The location of these different facilities was selected based on different criteria among which included access to water sources, electricity, road infrastructure, among others,” he said.
The schools will be built in 10 districts of Gakenke, Burera, Nyamasheke, Gatsibo, Kayonza, Rwamagana, Kirehe, Nyarugenge, Nyagatare and Nyanza.
The plan also involves construction of four new incubation centres in the districts of Rubavu, Huye, Nyagatare and Nyarugenge.
Pascal Gatabazi, WDA director general, said: “We have organised three different trades (combinations) per school whereby each trade will have two different streams, and every stream will accommodate a minimum 30 students, meaning at least 180 students per school with standard practical workshops”.
He said that allocation of disciplines to be taught in the different schools will put into the context the geographic locations of the particular school.
“Under this project, we shall let the teachers, together with all officials concerned, shortlist the disciplines to be particularly taught in their areas and we will compare with the priority centres and decide,” added Kwikiriza.
“Districts have different market demands and raw materials, so it was a better way to come up with an initiative which has an impact on society using hands-on skills”.
Asked about the recently suspended TVET schools, Kwikiriza added that most of them have all the requirements needed to meet minimum standards.
Currently, there are 5,200 teachers in vocational schools across the country and 2,026 have completed specialised training in different disciplines, according to figures from the authority.