In the previous implementation phases, PROMOST built six schools in six of the seven districts of the Western Province of Rwanda, to promote the learning of labour-market-oriented skills among the population. The school structures were simple and included modernized equipment to improve the quality of vocational training. Students had classes for both theory and practical sessions.
“During the previous implementation phases, Swisscontact recognized accessibility of these training schools needed to be improved to increase student retention. Many students travelled from far to attend class. The to and fro transit was not easy for them and some dropped out because of this. This affected the female population more. To mitigate this, Swisscontact through the project PROMOST decided to construct dormitories giving the students an option to board in school. In addition, PROMOST also built refectories for them to share their meals,” commented Mr. Charles Pouliot, the Swisscontact Director for the Great Lakes region.
The construction took place in four of the six TVET schools previously built by PROMOST. These are Muganza TVET School in Rusizi District, Shangi TVET School in Nyamasheke District, Rubengera TVET School in Karongi District and Muhororo TVET School in Ngororero District.
“The inaugurated infrastructures have been constructed in the framework of Switzerland continuous support to the Rwanda TVET system through the PROMOST program. Switzerland is committed to support Rwanda’s vision of becoming a competitive, knowledge-based economy by 2024 and TVET has been identified of being one of the key drivers to achieve that goal. Equipped with skills, the young people of Rwanda will be enabled to become entrepreneurs, employable and informed citizens thereby contributing to economic development of the nation” HE Mr. Valentin Zellweger, Ambassador of Switzerland to Rwanda.
At the start of 2020, PROMOST Rwanda launched the Dual Training System, a pilot program supported by the Ministry of Education in Rwanda and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). This was a shift in approach from the basic technical and vocational education and training offered and intended to give the students opportunities to gain more hands-on skills from private companies
“Skills development and employment promotion are central to Rwanda’s transformative vision 2050 to secure high standards of living for all Rwandans. To achieve that, Rwanda must build a dynamic and capable workforce for responding to the rising demand for high-skilled jobs. TVET has a key role to play to achieve that.” Hon. Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, the Rwanda Minister of Education.
Though retention of students in TVET schools was one of the goals behind the providing boarding facilities, but the approach was also designed to pay more attention to gender equality and women’s economic empowerment as explained by the director of Swisscontact in the Great Lakes Region.
“The choice to construct the dormitories is intended to bridge the gender gap in the dual training program we are currently facilitating. During admission, the program ensures to achieve a 50:50 ratio of male and female students. The constructed boarding facilities will be able to accommodate 400 students which translates to 200 female students. These boarding facilities is a big step closer to improving access to quality and relevant TVET training,” Mr. Pouliot