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We can’t all do office work: The importance of vocational education training

carpentry background

Technical, Technical, and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) according to the ministry of education has emerged as one of Rwanda’s most effective human resource development strategies.

In order to address the issue of youth unemployment, the Rwandan government has set a goal of increasing the number of students studying vocational and technical courses by 60% by 2024.

Technical skills are in high demand in the labor market in a knowledge-based era and economy. Unfortunately, negative and inaccurate misperceptions about Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) exist throughout the country and around the world.

TVET educational programs are regarded as inferior by both men and women in comparison to other training and learning opportunities.

It is not regarded as higher education, nor is it regarded as a useful type of education that provides students with good job opportunities or social prestige.

It is frequently regarded as only valuable and a last resort for young men from low-income families, or who performed poorly in school or dropped out.

However, this must change. Such programs provide young people with the technical and practical skills required to combat unemployment.

Nshimiyimana Jean Baptiste pursued TVET education despite his reservations about the program due to all of the inaccurate misinformation, but he now has his own company employing 200 people.

The establishment of a vocational school for Deaconess nuns in the Rubengera Sector in 2012 coincided with the completion of Nshimiyimana Jean Baptiste’s ordinary level studies.

He was unwilling to pursue higher education through TVET, but his parents thought otherwise; they advised him to study carpentry, but he dismissed the idea as futile.

He thought carpentry was a mediocre job, but he soon realized it was not.

“It was a new thing, and the teachers were German, and I went there dragging my feet, but I quickly realized it was a great thing, and there we were learning using different techniques and technology, and I started to like it,” he explained.

Following the completion of high school, the German instructors requested the formation of a company with Nshimiyimana as the manager.
In 2017, he signed contracts with Marriott Hotels, Cleo Hotel, and SKOL. This prompted him to establish his own company, JB Wood. He only had one employee at the time.

The company has expanded and now employs over 200 people, including 15 full-time employees.

Building kitchens, making various doors, making various furniture such as chairs, beds, and cupboards, building houses, drying and selling wood, and transporting goods are among his activities.

Nshimiyimana believes that because TVET courses are at the international level, no one should underestimate them. He claims that the issue is that some people confuse vocational courses with vocational training and vice versa.

He believes that the youth should understand that they need to learn more technical and field skills because they cannot all work in an office.

“Our hands are our capital; we have to be creative, work hard, and endure living in this difficult life,” he said, adding that he used to do small jobs and help his father, but he knew he would go further and even further than where he is now.

Despite the challenges, his ambition is to establish an international carpentry and construction company.

Straight out of Twitter