Rwandan government injection of new subsidies for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) will take effect on April 18, the start of third term in this academic year.
This injection of the hefty subsidies imply that tuition fees for TVET schools will drop by 30 per cent as government seeks an improvement of about 60% of ordinary level graduates into TVETs.
Paul Umukunzi, the Director-General of Rwanda TVET Board (RTB), said the initiative is a response to public outcry. It will also encourage young people to join TVET schools.
The government has injected some Rwf5 billion in subsidies as it attempts to offset the cost of TVET education, Umukunzi disclosed.
“During the budget process, the government injected Rwf5 billion to buy the equipment used in government-aided TVET schools. The investment will help us to reduce school fees by 30 per cent,” he said.
Umukunzi however indicated that the change will benefit only boarding students. The subsidies are also part of government’s effort to achieve its ambition of enrolling 60 per cent of ordinary level graduates into TVETs by 2024 and spur job creation. The government targets to create 250,000 new jobs every year.
“Following the campaign we conducted recently on raising awareness about the importance of joining TVET schools, most of the complaints we have gathered are about the high cost of TVET school fees. By subsidizing the cost, we hope to reduce that burden,” he added
The current enrollment rate in TVET schools is 31.9 per cent, according to RTB’s recent statistics.
Commenting on the parents’ who might have paid the school fees at the start of the third semester, Umukunzi said that they will be refunded.
“For such cases, we have already talked to the schools, and the parents will be refunded or use the money as school fees in the next terms where it is possible. All will be upon the arrangement between the schools and parents,” he said
Thus far, there are 451 TVET schools, and 25 more schools are under construction with plans to build 50 schools in 2023.
With this initiative, TVET students who paid Rwf240,000 in an academic year will now pay Rwf168,000, a great relief for self-sponsored pupils, parents and guardians.
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