By Elias Hakizimana.
5628 candidates who persued different short courses and others who underwent the recognition of Prior Learning Assessment were given certificates as they graduated from various technology-based disciplines at Rwanda Polytechnic-IPRC Kigali on Thursday, January 23, 2020.
Categorically, 429 of the trainees have attended different short courses in different technological fields namely training in Plumbing, Carpentry, Welding Machine Tools, Electrical Electronics, Automobile, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration; and Information Communication Technology.
In addition to that, 13 trainees completed dual training in Plumbing and this is a new way of acquiring skills in partnership with industries whereby trainees spend half of the training period in a training institution and another half of the period in the company.
Moreover, 5150 candidates were assessed in their work places through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to recognize their competences acquired informally so that they would be given certificates of competencies. The success of this practice was marked with a remarkable partnership with the Union of Workers of Construction, Mining and Crafts (STECOMA), SDF, RGA and AEBTP, FARG, GIZ, KCB Igire, RDF, NEP, RMB, EGC Ltd, EMP Ltd, COMECA Ltd, Ets KAZOZA & Cie, ECODESEP Ltd, ELECTRICOM Ltd and STAR CONSTRUCTION&CONSULTANCY Ltd).
The graduates were given a task to go and amplify the self-employment sector in Rwanda and abroad.
Speaking during the certificates awarding ceremony, vice chancellor of Rwanda Polytechnic (RP) Dr. James Gashumba told the graduates that they have a good choice to undergo professional practical courses instead of staying arm-in-pocket as if they lost what to do.
“In coming days, it will not be easy to find jobs. The skills you have acquired will help you to stay steady at work and employ others.” Gashumba said.
His speech to the graduates was very heartening when he told them that “Umwana w’umufundi arabwirirwa ntaburara” literary means in Kinyarwanda: “a technician can’t starve the entire day.”
He also recognized some partner institutions that helped the school to reach the goals of nurturing practical skills to the graduates.
Trainees speak out
Shello Bigirimfura, one of the 13 trainees who completed dual training in Plumbing said the skills he acquired will further his ways of delivering professional and quality service to the community.
“The skills I acquired helped me to change various mindsets, people used to say that someone who joins practical training is the one who failed in class, but, myself, I continued my lessons in Civil Engineering in Water and Sanitation Technology after completing the dual training in Plumbing and I am proud to be called professional plumber, I work and I get paid,” he said.
Jean Bertrand Kwizigira, another trainee who spoke to The Inspirer said that they used to experience a challenge in getting BDF loans in their current projects because they had not yet got the certificates.
“Since 2018 until today, we were much challenged to present the To Whom Letters to BDF when seeking for loan facilities to boost our projects, as today we have got certificates, we hope that the doors are open for us to get served and we will make significant projects.” He said.
Eng. Diogène Mulindahabi, the Principal of Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC-Kigali) said that trainees are expected to deliver quality and professional work, as well as helping the country to curb unemployment trend by employing others.
The rate of unemployment among Rwandans dropped to 14.5 per cent in February 2019, down from 16 per cent in February 2018, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.
IPRC-Kigali awards certificates of short time courses to the trainees in a bid to boost professionalism for those who currently serve in the sector.
“We used to graduate trainees at Diploma and University level, but today we have awarded ones who have completed short time courses of less than a year. This is to ensure quality of work well done by professionals; it will also help the country to plan for future learners accordingly.” Mulindahabi said.
Since its inception in 2008, IPRC-Kigali had 200 students, the number that significantly increased to over 5000 at the moment.
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