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PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION

AS A WAY TO SUSTAIN VULNERABLE CHILDREN


DEVELOPMENT

BY:
NYIRINKWAYA Serge
REGISTRATION NUMBER: 08/M/KAB/MADS/010/W

A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF


THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF
A MASTER S DEGREE IN DEVELOPMENT STUDIES
AT KABALE UNIVERSITY

September 2010
ABSTRACT
This study bases on the case of SOSCV in Kigali, Rwanda to examine how promoting
entrepreneurship education sustains the development of vulnerable children. It e
xplores the
profile of entrepreneurship education with special reference to the framework of
provision,
support mechanisms, objectives, contents and teaching/training methods. It adopt
s an exploratory
study design to cover 180 respondents who were SOS youths and SOS CV co-workers.
Data
were collected using questionnaires, face to face interviews, observations and d
ocumentary
reviews.
The findings indicated a poor provision framework and a weak standing of entrepr
eneurship
courses/training sessions, which are organized during occasional holiday seminar
s and tend to
focus only on the creation of self-employment projects. Because of that, except
the SOS
technical school that has a structured entrepreneurship education program, we ca
nnot talk of
entrepreneurship education as such for the remaining four socio-pedagogical unit
s. Moreover, the
results revealed that the development of entrepreneurship education practices in
SOSCV Kigali is
hampered by many factors like (1) the lack of effective support mechanisms to de
tect and
develop children talents, to raise awareness, and to experience entrepreneurship
; (2) a wrong
perception according to which only formal schooling deserves educators attention
in primary
school and that fostering entrepreneurial activities would affect negatively chi
ldren school
performances; (3) a lack of entrepreneurial skills and mindset among both SOS ed
ucators and
SOS children/youths; (4) the CV implements a non comprehensive program which doe
s not
provide any framework to SOS children to familiarize with entrepreneurial initia
tives all along
their stay in SOS premises and which is, in addition, introduced too late compar
ed to the current
trends in many countries. All these factors, while contrasting with the SOS chil
d development
policy also create gaps in rooting entrepreneurial skills and mindset among SOS
children and
would negatively impact on their future ventures after emancipation. However, it
was found that
the majority of SOS youths respondents prefer entrepreneurship as their future c
areer option,
especially girls. Also, a big number of females expressed preference for some en
trepreneurship
features such as interacting with entrepreneurs, holiday practical apprenticeshi
ps with mentors
experienced in business and small holiday jobs. On the other hand, a good number
of SOS
educators marked project work as an effective teaching/training method that should
be given
more conducive room during youths trainings. Developing a right attitude towards m
oney was
also highly scored as a key element of entrepreneurship education content given
the observation
that SOS children and youths learn very early how to use, save and spend money b
ut not how to
gain it. Furthermore, SOS educators acknowledged a desire to benefit from a stru
ctured and
regular training on entrepreneurship in order to be empowered for the business o
f nurturing an
entrepreneurial culture among SOS children.
Based on these findings, it is strongly suggested that the SOSCV Kigali should:
(1) develop a
specialized entrepreneurship education policy; (2) ensure that required and inno
vative support
mechanisms are provided; (3) put in place an Entrepreneurship Development Cell;
(4) give a high
priority to empower SOS educators with entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and att
itudes; and (5)
help SOS children to be aware of their status and capabilities and develop a min
dset of
struggling for life.