Rwanda: New Policy Tailors TVET to Labour Market Needs

Eric Hakizimana, a teacher at EMVTC, a vocational school in Kigali, showcases a prototype car assembled by his students during the 2015 Youth Connect in Remera. (File)

The Rwandan government has moved to make Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) more accessible to citizens, more hands-on oriented, and more responsive to the needs of the labour market.

The plans have been laid out in a new national TVET policy that government approved in September last year, boosting hopes among many stakeholders that they will soon see improvement in quality of skills churned out of the country’s growing number of technical and vocational schools.

One of the experts who sees the new TVET policy as a positive development is John Gaga, the deputy country director of Swisscontact, a development partner.

The organisation is currently working on a 12-year Swiss government-funded programme to support the Government of Rwanda’s efforts to improve access to, quality and relevance of TVET.

Speaking to The New Times, last week, Gaga said, unlike the previous TVET policy adopted in 2008 that was generic and focused more on defining concepts and issues, the new policy is more focused on skills to be transferred to students.

“One of the most interesting features of the new TVET policy is the training approach it has adopted – competence-based training (CBT). Unlike the previous approach (used in our system) where emphasis was put on the number of hours spent on a lesson, chapter or module, the CBT or CBA (competence based approach) focuses on mastery of specific competence by trainees instead of a broad general knowledge,” he said.

Gaga urged government to ensure that appropriate efforts to implement the policy are made since its prescriptions are likely to improve the country’s TVET system.

“Assuming that all pre-requisites or conditions are gathered, I am of the opinion that the approach (CBT) stands to benefit the country by highly enhancing the quality of acquired skills by trainees,” he said.

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