Blame game is detrimental to education quality – minister


Education stakeholders at the meeting in Rubavu District. (Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)

The culture of shifting blame in the education sector is affecting the quality of education and needs to stop.

The observation was made Wednesday by Isaac Munyakazi, the minister of state for primary and secondary education, during a meeting with education stakeholders and local leaders in Rubavu District.

He called on parents, teachers, local leaders and education officers to work together to avoid students dropping out of school, repeating classes, and getting unwanted pregnancies.

According to 2015 figures from the Ministry of Education, school dropout rates stood at 5.7 per cent, 6.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent in primary, and lower and upper secondary respectively. The repetition rate was 18.4 per cent, 11.6 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

The Ministry of Health also reported that 17,444 teenagers got unwanted pregnancies in 2016 alone which affected transition and completion rates.

The minister is on a countrywide awareness campaign to help identify issues affecting quality of education and chart the way forward.

Minister Munyakazi talks to various education stakeholders in Rubavu district. He urged them to shun vices of blame shifting if they are to improve quality education.

He called for unity among stakeholders to ensure everyone plays their part in minimising dropout rates, promoting hygiene and sanitation, and preventing unwanted pregnancies and fighting drug abuse.

The minister said that despite all efforts put in to improve education quality by the top leadership of the country, the education sector was still struggling and attributed this to blame game among stakeholders.

He called for regular and serious follow up by parents, teachers, schools and other stakeholders.

Teachers, local leaders react

Marie Grace Uwampayizina, the vice mayor in charge of social affairs in Rubavu District, said the area borders DR Congo and this makes it harder to deal with dropouts and drug abuse but measures were in place to reverse the trend.

Antoine Hakizimana, the head teacher of GS Kanzenze, stressed the importance  partnership among stakeholders and taking punitive measures whenever teachers fail to provide quality education.

 “We need to provide report to sector and district officials and ensure that those who do not offer quality education face punitive measures. Parents should also take responsibility and play their role, especially in school feeding programmes,” he added.

One of head teachers gives his contribution during the meeting in Rubavu.