Rwanda Engineers Frustrated by ‘Wrong Training’ Methodology

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By Denyse Tuyishime

Over 400 Engineers took their first oath in Rwanda’s Engineering Industry

Rwandan trained engineers may not fairly compete at international levels because of poor training methods of local institutions; The Rwanda Institute of Engineers says.

“The government signs big deals with foreign companies because they are very organized and experienced while for us we are still struggling to grow,” Eng. Papias Kazawadi Dedeki, President of Institution of Engineers Rwanda (IER) told Rwanda Eye in an interview.

“The Engineers institution is barely four years, and our organization is not yet strong; for example, our members are not even registered according to their specialization.”

However, Kazawaki believes that such issues will be sorted out, but ‘poor’ training will hinder their growth for some times.

“The methodology is wrong; teaching tools are poor; mindset of teachers, students and parents is also wrong. People should nowadays study to create and see hidden opportunities to turn the valueless into valuables,” he said.

However, Dr. Theobald Mbereyaho, Dean of School of engineering at University of Rwanda College of Science and Technology (CST) told Rwanda Eye  that the education system has nothing to do with the poor performance of engineers on field.

“We feel we are doing well and the quality of our graduates is good as well if we look at knowledge side. If we look at skills side, we need to improve our laboratories,” Mbereyaho said.

Moreover, Mbereyaho is of a view that the private sector should also play their role. Industries, he said, must contribute offering industrial visits and attachments.

The dean does not buy the idea that teaching methodology has shortfalls.  “Methodology and mindsets I don’t agree: we have young academic staff and they can’t have attitude (may be very few isolated cases).”

In an interview at KT Radio last week, Amb. Charles Murigande, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Institutional Advancement said that university of Rwanda cannot be blamed on poor quality.

He said there is need to check in other levels of education, because the foundation matters a lot in education.  At least 600 engineers graduate every year at CST both in bachelors and masters level.

Mbereyaho said “the engineering profession is still new in the country that’s why the country hires foreign experts for bigger projects that not only requires heavy equipment but also experience.”

Bigger projects in Rwanda including roads, and public buildings are secured by foreign companies.

For example new Bugesera airport is being conducted by Mota Engil Engenharia e Construcao Africa, a Portuguese firm while road construction works in Kigali City are piloted by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), a Chinese firm.

According to Kazawadi, Rwandan engineers most of time work as sub-contractors in bigger projects like methane gas extraction project in Lake Kivu.

However, some buildings in Kigali were built by local engineers. “Champion Investment Corporation (CHIC) and Nyarugenge plaza buildings were executed by local companies,” Kazawadi told Rwanda Eye.

“There are other Rwandan engineers working on even bigger projects but we are not able to identify them and have an exact figure.”

During the concluded ‘Africa Engineering Conference’ that took place at Kigali Convention Center from September 25th to September 29th,, 440 engineers among 850 registered in Rwanda took ethical oath for the first time.

“The fact that we were able to organize a huge conference like this   is a big achievement because many other African countries tried but failed. So we look forward to achieve even more,” Kazawadi said.

 

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