Education is critical for any economy


University of Kigali graduates during a past graduation ceremony. (File)


RE: Entrepreneurial universities: Marrying scholarly research with business acumen” (The New Times, March 25).

I feel a little irritated by the constant usage of “entrepreneurial universities”. It’s as if there’s a very small number of them. There are many. In fact, most of the schools in the US are “entrepreneurial universities”.

I always feel sad when we make plans for so-and-so vision, but we put little emphasis on education. Currently, governments in Africa are the major bodies that run economies. They are the major employers.

Why? Because citizens are not ready to give to their countries. They ask what their countries can do for them, instead of what they can do for their countries. Why? Because they don’t have adequate education to feel to the spark of doing something for their country.

Look, almost every university graduate thinks they will apply for a job. Where? To government agencies. These jobs are fixed in number. Why don’t they think of creating other jobs? They don’t have that mindset.

And when unemployment spikes, they complain. How sad! Yes, they will keep complaining because unemployment will get worse and worse over time.

What happens when economy grows too big that government alone can’t control it?

Rwanda, (and most of Africa), has to re-think how we educate future generations, future Africa.

Students can’t think past texts or equations. They just pick it as it is to pass it in the future.

I always wonder how governments don’t see this trend. It’s very obvious.… The question of why they don’t act on it is what still bugs my mind. But education should be the first thing to emphasise, especially when you want your economy to be “knowledge-based”.

I want to sign off with Aristotle’s words, “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth”.

And Benjamin Franklin’s: “The good education has been esteemed by wise men in all ages, as the surest foundation of the happiness both of private families and, of Commonwealths. Almost all governments have, therefore, made it a principal object of their attention, to establish and endow with proper revenues such seminaries of learning, as might supply the succeeding age with men qualified to serve the public with honor to themselves and to their country.”