Nearly 40 percent of Rwanda’s population is between the ages of 14-35. Every year there are over 200,000 learners who enter upper secondary school and over 90,000 who enter technical and vocational education and training (TVET) schools. The small formal employment sector cannot absorb all of these graduates and youth unemployment is at 65 percent.
Through the Akazi Kanoze 2 (AK2) project, EDC is working with Rwanda’s Ministry of Education to help young people gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to participate in an expanding economy. At the center of AK2 is the implementation of EDC’s Work Ready Now! curriculum and school-to-work transition services in schools throughout the country.
AK2 is a national scale up of the USAID-funded Akazi Kanoze project, begun in 2009, within Rwanda’s secondary education system. USAID continues the efforts at this scale through the USAID Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze project.
The AK2 project staff engaged in the following activities:
- Equipped high school and TVET students with market-relevant and transferable skills
- Developed national curricula materials based on EDC's Work Ready Now! employability program.
- Oversaw the implement the Akazi Kanoze program in secondary and technical vocational schools across the country
- Supported the Ministry of Education (Rwanda Education Baord and Workforce Development Authority) in materials development, assessment, and teacher training
- Implemented school-to-work transition through work-based learning in 150 schools in Kigali and Southern Province
- Published research on the impact and cost-effectiveness of AK2
- Created a public data dashboard to improve policy decision making
- Institutionalized the Work Ready Now! curriculum in Rwanda's national secondary school curriculum
- Reached over 220,000 in-school youth nationwide
- Trained over 700 teachers
- Directly supported 438 schools in the roll out of the new competence-based curriculum
- Supported 8,063 secondary students in gaining work experience through school-to-work learning opportunities
- Started 383 savings and internal lending groups in schools across Rwanda, with more than 8,000 students participating
- An impact evaluation of AK2 students found that AK2 youth are 8 percent more likely to be employed after graduating second school than those that do not participate the program. Young women who participate in AK2 are 12 percent more likely to be employed than women who do not participate.
Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), Rwanda Ministry of Education, Health Poverty Action, Foundation AVSI, Frontiers Great Lakes, Catholic Relief Services, Akazi Kanoze Access