A number of Technical and vocational Educational Training (TVET) schools have been warned their operations could be stopped in the next academic year following a quality assurance report from the education ministry, which faulted them on operational and management issues.
Last week, the education ministry said at least 158 schools needed serious attention after a nine-month inspection to assess delivery of quality of education.
According to the report, 108 of the 158 schools face immediate closure in the next academic year, 31 others need strict audit and investigation while 17 others will need special advocacy; 26 TVET public, government-aided and private schools, among others were found to be operating with a serious shortage of consumables; lack of sufficient training personnel; poorly equipped workshops; poorly maintained dormitories and glaring conflict of interests between top leaders.
In one example from the report, an inspection of Nyarugunga TVET public school in the Kicukiro District showed the school has only two employees (school manager and one trainer); poor infrastructure, with two rooms being used as a workshop, classrooms and a store.
In the same district, Saint Phillip TVET private school, was found to have poor hygiene, lack of consumables, high percentage of student absenteeism and indiscipline.
Speaking to Rwanda Today, education minister Eugene Mutimura, said that if the schools do not work in the next two months and respond positively to the observations, students will be transferred to other well organised schools.
“We close schools to help them address the identified issues, failure to which the ministry takes measures against school leaders and students are transferred to other schools.
Saint Theresa Kayonza TVET School is an example of a school we recently closed after its leader pocketed funds and disappeared.
With the help of the local government in Kayonza District, we conducted a relocation exercise of 443 students to alternative schools and agreed that extra expenses would be paid by the ministry after budget revision,” said Dr Mutimura.
Through its workforce development policies, the government decided to prioritise TVET schooling as a way to create a skilled labour force that would not only help create employment, but help fast-track social economic transformation of the country.
According to the Educational Statistic Year Book of 2017, there are 402 schools countrywide admitting around 107,501 trainees and being taught by 6,929 staff.
Jerome Gasana, director-general of the Workforce Development Agency, which is a parent institution that oversees quality assurance of TVET Schools, the identified schools will have to work hard in the next two months to meet the requirements.
“Some of the issues are pretty quick to fix and need regular monitoring such as proper hygiene in schools,” he said.
Earlier this year the just concluded campaign saw closure of similar schools mostly because of poor hygiene and sanitation, lack of facilities and equipment.
One of the schools, Ecole Technique de Mulundo in Musanze district, under the approved list of schools supported by the Workforce Development Authority was closed after multiple warnings by both local government and the education ministry.