The approach named ‘The Dual Training System’ is set to be a collective process that allows TVET students to integrate their theoretical knowledge with workforce learning seamlessly. The change in approach was in response to the Government of Rwanda revising its targets; increasing the TVET training from 31% to 60% by 2024 to ensure a match between the increasing market demand and the number of skilled young people. The conference was attended by the Minister of Education, the Regional Director of Cooperation at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Vice-Chancellor at Rwanda Polytechnic, the Private Sector Federation, and the private sector in general.
The dual training combines both theoretical and practical training through in-school or in-centre training and in-company training. In his speech, the Minister of Education, Dr. Eugène Mutimura said, ‘Rwanda is initiating the dual training system in Technical and Vocational Education and Training to enable the Rwandan youth to gain not only hands-on skills but also professional experience and work ethics.’
The Vice-Chancellor at Rwanda Polytechnic, Dr. James Gashumba, also said ‘The dual training system will allow TVET students to become highly skilled so they can come up with more innovations and create more jobs.’
The employment sector was another topic of discussion during the conference i.e. the role of companies and industries in facilitating and conducting in-company training for these TVET students.
Mr. Robert Bayigamba, the owner of Manumetal, a big company in Rwanda said, ‘This dual training approach allows companies to know the students and the future employees at an earlier stage, identify talents, and build up relationships. It is a great opportunity for companies to work with different stakeholders to understand the market needs and demands with a cluster approach.'
The dual training system will be implemented by Swisscontact together with its different partners, explicitly the Ministry of Education, Rwanda Polytechnic, and the Private Sector Federation. The pilot approach is financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and if successful, will be spread to other provinces in Rwanda. Initially, it will be rolled out in the six TVET schools built by Swisscontact between 2013 and 2018. These are Nyabihu, Muhororo, Rubengera, Bumba, Muganza, and Shangi TVET schools which are located in the Western Province.
Mr. Charles Pouliot, Swisscontact’s PROMOST Director for the Great Lakes region, assured the stakeholders present during the launch that Swisscontact had enough expertise in implementing the dual training approach and had in the past successfully implemented the system in other countries all over the world.
The Vice-Chancellor of Rwanda Polytechnic, Dr. James Gashumba, concluded the conference by promising continuous conversations with the private sector to ensure the successful implementation of the Dual Vocational Education and Training System in Rwanda.