At least 12 vocational schools worth Rwf 4 billion have been built in five correctional facilities across the country.
These are the prisons of Rwamagana, Huye, Nyarugenge, Nyanza and Rubavu, supported by the Dutch government.
According to George Rwigamba, Commissioner General of Rwandan Corrections (RCS), schools will train around 3,000 prisoners per six-month promotion.
Detainees, he noted, will learn skills in masonry, plumbing, auto mechanics, electrical, construction, tailoring, carpentry, leather goods, ICT, hairdressing and embellishment as well as welding.
He said 36 RCS staff have also been deployed to TVET and IPRC schools as part of the long-term strategy to upgrade their skills so that they can train inmates.
Johnston Busingye, the Minister of Justice, urged inmates to avoid reoffending and use the skills learned to create jobs in their communities once released from prison.
“Human beings are human whether they are in prison or not. We think about inmates in a sustainable way, give them hope and the future by empowering them. They are in prison and the next thing for them should be to think about avoiding bad choices and creating jobs by using skills, ”said the minister.
He said most young people in prison have dropped out of school and therefore should take advantage of vocational schools to improve their skills.
“We can change this story of dropping out of school and open them up to the job market,” he said.
Prisoners speak out
Stanislas Dusabumukiza, one of the inmates who is now learning skills, said: “I have started planning how I will deploy my skills to create jobs once I get out of prison. I am ready to approach financial institutions for funds to start my own business. “
Gaspard Nsabamungu, a former occasional worker and farmer, wishes to acquire skills as an electrical technician.
“I also plan to venture into modern agriculture,” he added.
Jean Damascene Musabimana, who was a welder, said he did not have a job before being imprisoned. “The TVET skills will help me start my business because where I come from, there are few carriers. “