By Elias Hakizimana.
The Workforce Development Authority (WDA) has suspended seven TVET schools and warned 62 others over substandard operation including insufficient curriculum equipment, non-compliance of the environmental locations of their schools – whereby some schools are criticised for being located in areas near churches, bus station and markets which WDA says make students uncomfortable as such places are noisy.
A surprising announcement of their suspension was communicated on January 8, 2019 in a general meeting organised by WDA in Kigali and was made while the commencement of the new academic year has only five days to go.
Kigali International Art College (KIAC) is among the seven affected TVET schools by WDA decision.
Speaking during the meeting with WDA, (KIAC) Director Athanase Ruhumuriza, exposed his concern as a victim of the urgent decision after his school was inspected by WDA and the district which confirmed good operating standards.
His school was accused of congested substandard classes, school works with outside noise from a neighboring church and Remera Bus station, insufficient equipment and tools, unqualified teachers, not respecting TVET curriculum, etc and he said the previous staff of WDA and the district confirmed him with quality standards during their inspection.
“We are surprised to get such a report today suspending our activities and we are confused as they fully contributed in confirming our curriculum based equipment and they are the ones who confirm certificates of our students. We worry about this immediate and surprising decision without consulting us before,” Ruhumuriza said.
Since its inception in 2015, the school invested Rwf 60 million in equipping students with practical courses in video production, photography, web design. graphic design, computer hardware and maintenance, electronic repairing and maintenance, software development, music and creative art of drawing and painting.
Ruhumuriza expects so many negative effects from this decision as many students have already registered for the new academic year that starts on Monday next week and had had some bank loans to be paid.
Not only this school and others that were suspended, they all said that this could not be the right decision as they were not notified before to get ready and improve on the criteria.
Priest Robert Iryumugabe, headmaster of TVET-Rwaza in Musanze district said that some of the challenges facing TVET schools include lack of enough equipment and management of students and employees.
“Some consequences will happen like misunderstanding between schools and students who will not get requested services,” Iryumugabe said.
Speaking to Dr.Theodore Habimana , the Standards and Guidelines for Quality TVET Specialist at WDA, he said that those who are not satisfied of the already taken decision can request WDA through written letters, an occasion for a re-visit to confirm their operating standards and go ahead with their activities.
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