TVET Girl campaign scaled up; Gender Minister calls for equitable and quality TVET

A national campaign dubbed ‘TVET Girl’ that has been going on for the last two weeks was officially scaled up on Tuesday with a call for equitable and quality TVET for improved employability as a future development priority. This call was made by the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion Esperance Nyirasafari who presided over the award ceremony to best female TVET role models and students.
Minister for Gender and Family Promotion Esperance Nyirasafari awarding one of the female TVET students who demonstrated skills during the campaign.
This campaign was rolled out on November 30, 2016 with the aim of changing the mindset of young girls towards TVET, especially encouraging them to join Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) related trades. This entire campaign will took 12 days; using roadshows in the districts of Muhanga, Huye, Nyamagabe, Musanze, Gicumbi, Rubavu, Karongi, Rusizi, Rwamgana, Ngoma, Nyagatare and Kicukiro.
A crowd attracted by the campaign at one of the stopovers in Nyamagabe district.
Owing to Rwanda’s committed to triple girls enrollment in TVET by 2020, Minister Nyirasafari said that results from the campaign create commitment for both parents and leaders to empower girls towards performing better in TVET. “There is need for collective support to create an enabling environment. It does not require physical strength for girls to acquires skills out of STEM related courses, but the zeal to adapt skills”, added the Minister.
Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda, Frederique de Man marking remarks at the closing ceremony. WDA organized this campaign in collaboration NUFFIC.
The Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda, Frederique de Man said that the road trip has been very important in emphasizing the importance of TVET, participation of girls especially in science related ones, not leaving them exclusively for the males. She commended the Government of Rwanda for linking the drive with the HeforShe campaign and also applauded the use of role models and networking as important in achieving better results.
One of the female role models Marie Jose Umuhoza sharing her experience during the closing ceremony.
Marie Jose Umuhoza is one of the 12 female TVET role models used in this campaign and studies Mechanical Engineering at IPRC West. She believes their contribution in this campaign helped to change perceptions held by most locals that some course are strictly meant for men. “Through various technical demonstrations we proved to them that girls are able and can also play role in current initiatives like the made in Rwanda campaign”, Umuhoza siad.
Minister of State in charge of TVET Olivier Rwamukwaya.
In his remarks, the Minister in charge of TVET Olivier Rwamukwaya said that females occupy 46.9 %, and males 60.4 in vocational training centers while 55.2% of students enrolled in TSSs are girls compared to 44.8% males. Rwamukwaya stressed that there is a big number of girls than boys in technical secondary schools., however, most of the girls are engaged in courses like Accountancy, Hotel management, Hair dressing and Tourism.
UN Women representative in Rwanda, Fatou Aminata Lo making remarks regarding the TVET Girl campaign.

To close this gap in TVET enrolment, and gender gap in youth employment Miinister Rwamukwaya said that the Ministry of Education has introduced a national mentorship and career guidance program to encourage girls to take up science and technology courses within the TVET program; aiming for at least a 50% eligible female enrolment by 2020.

Fatou Aminata Lo, the UN Women representative also said that one of the highlights in this initiative is to bring equality in all sectors since no sustainable development can be achieved when girls are not given equal opportunities as boys, from a young age.  She emphasized that investing in women sets a direct path to gender equality, poverty reduction and inclusive economic growth.

The Un envoy stressed that Girls are able but get few opportunities to show their capabilities, a reason why such a  campaigns is of critical importance. 

Since 2010 the Ministry of Education has been striving for access, quality and relevancy in TVET and Gender inclusiveness has always been part of the strategy.

According to Anne Abakunzi, WDA’s Deputy Director in charge of corporate services, Gender inclusiveness focal points at different IPRCs have been trained for implementation in alignment to the HeforShe impact goal. This is why support from Gender focal points from IPRCs was sought in the awareness campaign.

Some of the TVET role models have pledged to offer opportunities for internships to young girls in fields like coding, software development while others were offered chances in car garages and other domains.


More photos from the event: 
Students in practical demonstrations to the locals during the road trips.