Editorial: Govt needs strict school inspectorate and severe sanctions

Students of Riviera High School listening to a teacher recently. (Solomon Asaba)

During a recent inspection tour of our education system, which was carried out as part of the Quality Education Enhancement Awareness Campaign, a lot of surprises awaited the team.

Books were gathering dust yet students needed them; laptops under the One Laptop Per Child programme were neatly packed in their boxes as new as the day they came out of the factory.

All the above incidents could be blamed on one single person; the head teacher. So what happens when blame is shared across the board and nothing is done three years down the road?

That is exactly what happened recently in an incident involving Busogo Technical School in Musanze. Equipment worth over Rwf One Billion meant to help students in the hospitality field has been lying idle for the last three years.

Yes, you heard correctly, three years, and the school has graduated hotel and restaurant chefs who never even touched the equipment. What is also exasperating is that among the items was food meant to be used by the cookery class.

The crux of the matter is that a building meant to house the cooking class and the equipment was abandoned in mid-construction. The school leadership blames Workforce Development Authority (WDA) for supplying the equipment when they were not ready.

If a contractor abandoned the construction half way, why has it taken authorities three years? Where were the district, WDA and Ministry of Education all these years? What was the fate of the contractor? How does a head teacher let food to go bad yet he has stomachs to feed at the school?

All these questions beg answers, but most importantly, it calls for severe disciplinary action for that long chain that allows unscrupulous contractors to strip state assets with impunity and negligent government officials who sit by as things deteriorate right before their eyes and don’t lift a finger.

 

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