Education: all roads lead to Rome

Since 28 years now, the Professional Development and Training Center (CFPP) has been training unschooled youth. CFPP also welcomes the ones who are in conflict with the traditional schooling system. The center is one of the rare ways to access the work market without an academic degree.-Joanna Nganda

A group of students practicing in one of the workshops (auto-mecanics).©F.N/Iwacu

A group of students practicing in one of the workshops (auto-mecanics).©F.N/Iwacu

“When I heard about CFPP, I was 21 years old and already unemployed for 6 years. When I dropped out of school, I was thrust into the unemployed world. I had no idea that other options were available for me”, says Philippe, 28, whose family became financially unable to pay for his school fees. Now he is following a 2 year-program to become a plumber. Annick, 22, is in the same situation: “I never went to school. At 18, I worked as a hair stylist but I was fascinated by the garage next to our hair salon. That’s when I made my decision to get a degree in auto-mechanics”, she smiles. Ernest Nkurunziza, Executive Advisor of CFPP, is pleased with their work so far. “We have a high percentage of success, and we train people from various backgrounds. Sometimes, people are not eligible to continue their studies, depending on when they dropped out of school. They find themselves in uncomfortable situations: they can’t go back to school and they don’t have a degree to apply for a job. We are here for those young and motivated people”, explains Nkurunziza.
CFPP has several sections: building/plumbing, sewing, carpentry, welding, electrical engineering techniques, auto-mechanics and general mechanics. All of them have different cycles, the shortest lasts from three to nine months, and the longest up to 27months. According to Ernest Nkurunziza, their training system is effective: “the students go through three tests over the 27 month lapes. Two of these tests are eliminatory. This ensures that the final product is the best possible. We also provide the students with high quality training sessions with famous and successful companies like Toyota, Brarudi, Metalubia and so on.” CFPP is very careful not to overload classrooms, which only contain fifty students each. At CFPP, the majority of the students is masculine, “women are almost entirely found in the sewing section, and very sporadically in the rest of the sections mainly dominated by men”, says Ernest Nkurunziza.
Although CFPP has been working well for almost three decades, Ernest Nkurunziza reports few deficiencies “We are in need of raw materials like spare motor pieces to teach students mechanics. We also need new equipment and tools…we are still using the ones we had back in 1986! We really need to renew our equipment”, regrets CFPP Executive Advisor. It is worth mentioning that CFPP training fees are quite affordable: the prices range between BiF 10,000 and 17,000 per month, depending on the training cycle.

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