“Collèges Techniques”: What’s the pupils’ future?

Since the beginning of the school year 2013-2014, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary School, Professional Training and Literacy has cancelled the short section (A3) in each Secondary School. Unfortunately, two schools did not consider the Ministerial Order.-Diane Uwimana

Some of “ETALIBU” pupils from the examination    ©Iwacu

Some of “ETALIBU” pupils from the examination ©Iwacu

The Ministry of Basic and Secondary School, Professional Training and Literacy addressed a Ministerial Order no 620/1521 on 28/10/2013 relating to the cancellation of the Technical Colleges in Technical Secondary Schools. The Order asks these Schools to give up any enrolment in the first classes of Technical Colleges (A3) since the beginning of this school year 2013-2014 because “Collèges Techniques” will change into cycle “Lycée Techniques” in the Professional Training Centers, depending the availability of necessary resources.
However, about ten technical secondary schools possessing this short section “A3 Mécanique” in the whole country, only two schools still keep pupils in that section.

“We did not receive the copy of that Ministerial Order relating to that cancellation. We have heard it from others while we have already received new enrolments,” says Boris Cimpaye, the Assistant to the Headmaster at the “Ecole Technique de l’Alliance Islamique du Burundi ETALIBU”, one of the two schools. Note that 25 pupils are in the first year, 15 in the second year while 24 are in the final class at ETALIBU School.
Cimpaye indicates that this problematic was revealed while they were in the meeting with other headmasters about the organization of private technical secondary schools in Burundi.

“The Director in charge of Technical Training in the Ministry of Basic and Secondary School pointed out that we do not work in conformity with the law but we do not receive any kind of alerting letter,” explains Cimpaye.
The same view is shared with Swedi Jérôme, Headmaster of the “Ecole de la Technologie de Ngagara”. He indicates that it is hard to understand how on earth his pupils are going to be managed after the cancellation. “We didn’t receive the Ministerial Order demanding us not to continue in that section, that is the reason why pupils are pursuing their studies without any problem”, adds Swedi.
He goes on saying that this section is very special and is present in other countries such as Cameroon, DRC and Kenya. “We do not understand why Burundi does not want to continue to train these young people while we want to have professional mechanics. The fact is that our candidates are highly appreciated on the local market,” underlines Swedi.
He calls upon the Ministry to elaborate other programs to be continued in the longer section.

“Working in conformity with the new system of Fundamental School”

Serges Ndereyimana, Director of Technical Training in the Ministry of Basic and Secondary, Professional Training and Literacy, notes that the Ministerial Order sent in October 2013, was dispatched in different schools concerned by the measure. “The two schools were also aware of this Order”, states Ndereyimana. He mentions that different meetings and field visits have been organized towards them but they ignore it and continue to work without complying with the Order. He adds that the Ministry adopted the new system of the Fundamental School to improve the teaching and training in replacing the short section with the longer one.

“Pupils who are in second and third years will get their diploma because their case is known by the Ministry. However, it isn’t the case for the first years’ pupils who are not known, because they aren’t studying in conformity with the law”, highlights Ndereyimana. However, Ndereyimana states that the measure which will be taken for these schools will be let known by the General Inspection of that Ministry. Both Representatives of these schools mention that they are going to talk about this issue with their Legal Representatives to find out solutions. It is worth stating that pupils were not available to give their points of view as they were in examination periode.