The Ministry of Education has intensified efforts to hit 60% targets of students leaving secondary schools to join Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) by 2024 with a launch of a two-week campaign to sensitize youth and parents about the future of work.
TVET skills are believed to be a key pillar for socio-economic development and transformation.
The campaign dubbed “join TVET” is part of the government initiative to move towards a hands-on and competence-based curriculum, to produce skilled graduates fit for the current labour market demands.
It will run from 7 to 16th February 2022 conducted by Rwanda TVET Board (RTB), Rwanda Polytechnic, Ministry of Education, among other partners. The campaign aims at ‘rebranding’ TVET minds and to set a shift on TVET perception among Rwandan youth and society in general.
Currently, only 31% of the students who leave the Ordinary level of secondary school (‘O’ level) join TVET schools, but officials target to double the number by 2024.
According to RTB, the youth should change their perception and go for TVET skills because 42% of the jobs on the labour market will be done by TVET graduates in the near future.
“Technology keeps changing, industrialization expands with technology impacting people’s lives every day. This is why our children should learn these skills from TVET for them to stand chances of qualifying for the new trend on the labour market,” Eng. Paul Umukunzi, Director-General of RTB said yesterday during the launch of the campaign in Kigali.
“We want to show people how the future of work looks like, how it looks like today and how they should prepare to remain relevant.”
According to the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), TVET schools are seen as crucial in helping many Rwandans, especially the youth, acquire employable skills, and create their jobs.
The technical skills reportedly have an important role in attaining increased output, reducing unemployment and poverty, as well as enhancing social development in Rwanda.
Thus, last year the government pledged support that will create a comprehensive system that will guide the TVET training in Rwanda to ensure effectiveness of intervention while sustaining results in the long run.
“Today, the perception in society is that students who get TVET skills are academically weak. This is, however, a wrong perception. TVET is joined by everyone whether weak or bright students. The fact is that we need technicians in every sector,” Claudette Irere, State Minister in charge of Information Communication Technology and Technical and Vocational Education and Training said.
“The objective of this campaign is to explain the connection between labour market and TVET skills today and in the future. It is therefore a responsibility for every institution and individuals affiliated to education sector.”
Since last year, the government committed support and strengthening of the TVET schools as one of the pillars to take a lead in the country’s development and transformation.
Presenting the government’s strategy in supporting TVET schools to parliamentarians in July last year, Prime Minister, Dr. Édouard Ngirente said that vocational skills have been recognized as a pillar for development in advanced countries like Germany and Switzerland and should be an example to consider.
“The example we should all agree on is German which is well known for vocational skills. Over 50% of their population, youth, and adults join TVET schools. This helps them to create their jobs and eventually combat unemployment,” Dr. Ngirente explained.