Construction of technical schools
The construction of technical schools was one of the most important initiatives undertaken by the project in Rwanda. Five new vocational education institutes were established or modernised, including dormitories and workshops. In 2016 a sixth vocational education centre was added, and in 2020 PROMOST built eight dormitories and four canteens for four existing vocational schools.
In 2016, PROMOST started up activities in the DRC and Burundi. Its most important activities include short-term trainings, a modern apprentice-training programme, training of trainers, the development of new curricula, linking trainees with job opportunities, accreditation of previous education, services for entrepreneurs, and skills development of participants. In the DRC and Burundi, some existing vocational education institutions were renovated and upgraded, and in Rwanda a sixth vocational education institution was established.
As of 2020, project activities were devoted to continuation and consolidation. In Rwanda the focus was on a pilot project for a dual, apprenticeship-based vocational education programme in collaboration with the private sector and the six vocational education schools set up and upgraded by PROMOST. The pilot programme achieved promising results. There is broad consensus that dual apprenticeship-base training is the best approach to improving the quality and relevance of vocational education as well as to increasing employment opportunities for graduates.
At the same time, the project supported the existing vocational education system in designing and implementing new programmes and reforms. These had the objective of achieving more accessible education systems and ensuring that vocational education and training is integrated into national qualification frameworks. This was achieved through partnerships with all stakeholders involved in vocational education., which include vocational education institutions, governments, regulatory authorities, and especially private sector actors.
All these activities, financed by the SDC and implemented by Swisscontact, helped the Rwandan government make a giant step closer to achieving its “Vision 2050” with a modern vocational education and training system and improved quality of life for its population. The pilot project’s notable results provided an effective tool to the government to address the dearth of skilled labour in the private sector on the one hand, while on the other increasing employment and improving the labour market for future generations of young people, thereby decreasing poverty.