Reforming the education system needs a sturdy broom

Students in a classroom.

Overhauling the education system has been the country’s priority when it turned out that most graduates churned out were not ready for the job market.

The reforms were wide-reaching beginning with English being made the teaching medium, a move that many teachers were slow to adopt.

English teachers from the region were recruited to help improve language skills, but that was a temporary measure. Long-term solutions were needed and from the onset it was clear that it would not be a walk in the park.

The ongoing Quality Education Enhancement Awareness Campaign has exposed the fact the problems are much deeper, especially in primary schools.  It also shed light on the weakness of the inspectorate departments in the education sector.

The Government book distribution programme was the first casualty and recently led to the sacking of several senior managers at Rwanda Education Board. The current inspection tour found books gathering dust in some schools yet they were meant for the school children.

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project was also another victim; some laptops are idly lying in stores. One head teacher even had the temerity to say that the class timetable in Primary Five was so crowded that there was no place to squeeze  in ICT lessons! Remote schools seem to be most affected that one wonders what district education officers are doing.

But it beats logic when one expects a teacher who has poor command of the English language to teach subjects in the same language. What about sending laptops to schools where the teachers have poor grasp of how they work? It is not surprising that they are gathering dust.

Yes, the education sector was in urgent need of a broom, not just in the top level but down in the villages as well.

 

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