May 21, 2024

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Rwanda: Salesians of Don Bosco appeal for action to solve internship problems among TVET students

The Salesians of Don Bosco in Rwanda are urgently calling for action to address the issue of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students who are struggling to find internships. This concern was raised during a press conference held on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Don Bosco Hospitality Centre in the City of Kigali.

Father Jean Pierre Turabanye, the head of Don Bosco Gatenga TSS, explained that the lack of internship opportunities is primarily due to the nationwide scheduling of internships as determined by the Rwanda TVET Board program.

“This results in some students missing out on placements at host institutions.” He said.

Additionally, many students come from rural areas across the country, making it difficult for them to secure internships in the city of Kigali where most opportunities are located. Certain trades, such as plumbing, also present challenges for students in finding internships.

Father Turabanye highlighted the issue of hotels and tourism establishments requiring students to pay for damaged materials before starting their internships. This financial barrier disproportionately affects students from low-income families and limits their access to valuable training opportunities.

Ms. Iraguha Yvette, a waitress at Don Bosco Hospitality Center Kigali, emphasized how the cost of internships hinders students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Mr. Habimana Sosthene, a student at Don Bosco Gatenga TSS , expressed the desire for companies to make internships more accessible for students by easing financial requirements.

Mr. Cyiza Vedaste from the curriculum department at Rwanda TVET Board acknowledged the need for more internship opportunities as the number of TVET students continues to rise. He suggested that Level III students could practice at school facilities while Level IV and V students could benefit from partnerships between schools and the private sector to secure practical training placements.

Females face some other challenges

Ms. Uzamureba Clementine, the Gender Officer, is dedicated to promoting gender inclusion in DB Gatenga TVET to ensure equal opportunities for both male and female students.

The services provided by her office include counseling, advocacy on various issues faced by students, and providing assistance whenever possible without discrimination. Additionally, they are actively involved in the fight against gender-based violence by combining the values of the Catholic Church with those of ordinary Rwandans.

“We are conducting awareness campaigns to increase the number of girls in TVET schools. We now have girls in boarding who are studying subjects such as construction, plumbing, and food and beverage. We even welcome university graduates to come and train,” Ms. Uzamureba explained.

She highlighted the challenges that female graduates face in finding employment due to cultural biases. “When a girl who studied engineering applies for a job at a construction site, some engineers doubt her capabilities. This is a mistake, as she is more than capable of performing,” she emphasized.

Through advocating for the promotion of TVET programs and encouraging youth to enroll in technical courses, the Salesians are paving the way for a brighter future for Rwandan youth.

Father Cesar Habanabakize addressing the Media
Mr. Cyiza Vedaste from the Rwanda TVET Board
The head of Don Bosco Gatenga TSS, Father Jean Pierre Turabanye
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