The development follows the construction of 12 Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) schools in Rubavu, Huye, Nyanza, Nyarugenge and Rwamagana prisons completed at a cost of over Rwf 4 billion.
Inaugurated yesterday, these schools with all necessary equipment were built on funding of Netherlands Embassy in Rwanda.
RCS Commissioner General, CGP George Rwigamba, said that these schools will facilitate efficient correction and reintegration.
He explained that the first cohort has been attending courses for the past six months in five prisons.
The selection of inmates to attend courses, considers willing inmates and prior background on a particular vocational training program.
“We need to acquaint inmates with additional skills to ensure effective correction. Such vocational skills prepare them for future jobs after completing jail term to lead better life again,” said CGP Rwigamba.
He explained that inmates used to be acquainted with vocational skills depending on available training packages at particular prison. However, newly inaugurated schools will offer vocational packages approved by Rwanda TVET Board which will give them certificates upon graduation.
Umukunzi Paul, the Director General of Rwanda TVET Board said that inmates were previously equipped with vocational skills without respecting standard processes.
He highlighted that these schools will enable them to comply with the Curricula approved at national level that an inmate will graduate with a certificate to be used after reintegration.
“We offer six categories of certificates at TVET Board. Inmates will begin courses from different levels depending on prior knowledge. Even illiterate ones can start from scratch and attend short vocational courses. There are secondary school graduates who can start from an advanced level to attend one year or two year courses and receive accredited certificates,” he said.
Umukunzi revealed that inmates meeting requirements will sit for national examinations like other students.
It is expected that TVET Board will cooperate with RCS to offer similar course packages.
Netherlands Ambassador in Rwanda, Matthijs Wolters thanked the Ministry of Justice and RCS for the great initiative to construct vocational schools in prisons highlighting that it will pave the way for employments upon reintegration into the society.
The Minister of Justice and State’s Attorney General, Johnston Busingye has requested inmates to take advantage of presented opportunities to concentrate on courses with a view to apply acquired skills in normal life.
“Many of jailed youth had abandoned studies which might have been among other causes providing loopholes to engage in criminal acts. We believe that providing them with vocational and technical skills can be a solution filling the gap to those who halted studies even if the matter would not be addressed 100%,” he said.
It is expected that ten technical and vocational skills will be provided at these schools. They include mechanical engineering, construction, tailoring, hairdressing, computer science, electronics, plumbing, leathercraft, tailoring, and masonry.