Rwanda: China to Ramp Up Support for Rwanda’s Vocational Education

Rwanda: China to Ramp Up Support for Rwanda’s Vocational Education

China is set to increase its support to Rwanda’s TVET sector, thanks to new moves where various institutions in the Asian country are linking up with their Rwandan counterparts for collaborations and partnerships on a national level.

A delegation from the Chinese TVET sector travelled to Rwanda to hold talks with their Rwandan counterparts. Two letters of intent were signed between Rwanda Polytechnic and two Chinese institutions – Shandong Water Conservancy Vocational College, and Shandong Vocational College of Industry

The two letters of intent aim at establishing cooperation between the institutions in irrigation, agriculture, manufacturing and ICT and they will benefit IPRCs including IPRC Kigali, IPRC Tumba, IPRC Gishari and IPRC Ngoma.

The cooperation is part of the China-Africa Vocational Education Alliance CAVEA), an initiative established by the government of China to allow institutions from Africa and China to have international collaborations on educational development.

During a meeting that the Chinese delegation had with the Claudette Irere, the Minister of Education, Sun Shanxue, the vice chairman of the Chinese society of technical vocational education, said TVET is important for achieving the industrialisation of Africa. He noted that China is ready to collaborate with Africa on this.

He hinted at the fact that TVET collaborations between China and Africa were previously between institutions, but now China is trying to establish mechanisms at national level so that more stakeholders can benefit.

Irere appreciated the Chinese delegation for their visit to Rwanda and how they are interested in supporting the country’s TVET sector.

“One thing that I took note of and I want to see ourselves looking into is your approach on TVET digitalization. The fact that you can even measure digitalisation is something we want to learn,” she noted.

Ye Zhouxuan, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Chinese embassy in Rwanda, said both countries attach great importance to education.

“We all believe that the quality of talents determines a nation’s development and progress. I remember His Excellency President Paul Kagame once said that ‘education is about dignity and is the key to Rwanda’s future’, and I couldn’t agree more. That’s why education has always been one of the priority areas for our bilateral cooperation,” he noted.

He noted that Rwanda and China have had good cooperation in TVET in the past, for example the China-aided extension project of IPRC Musanze in Northern Province, in addition to the fact that Zhejiang Jinhua Vocational and Technical College will set up a Luban workshop in IPRC Musanze.

“Rwanda is currently experiencing rapid economic growth, with several sectors such as infrastructure, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and ICT, showing remarkable progress. As Rwanda undergoes a digital transformation, skilled workers will play an even more crucial role,” he said.

Sylvie Mucyo, the Vice Chancellor of Rwanda Polytechnic, thanked China for supporting one of Rwanda’s best colleges, IPRC Musanze, in terms of infrastructure, modern workshop and laboratory equipment.

She thanked CAVEA for their support and partnership that link Rwanda Polytechnic with the six colleges from China, “with the aim to enhance the quality of our programs so that we can meet our country and the East African Community (EAC) industrial needs.”

“This will be achieved through collaboration areas that include but are not limited to curriculum development for the different qualification levels, review of some of our programmes, and exchange towards improvement of teaching and learning applicable to appropriate standards,” she said.

“The collaboration with CAVEA and Chinese higher learning vocational education institutions is not merely a one-time venture, we believe it is a start towards a long-term partnership that will encompass other educational programmes and activities to further and enhance the academic landscape in Rwanda and beyond,” she added.

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