During President Paul Kagame’s visit to the National University of Rwanda (NUR), the Head of State emphasised the need for our education system to emphasis more on quality.
Speaking to the student community and lecturers of our national university, the President echoed what has always been debated in different circles, that when shall our institutions send to the job market competent and skilled graduates ready to satisfy employees’ demands?
Indeed like the President said, some of the students leaving our universities cannot express themselves or even craft a proper application letter.
The reason behind this mediocrity lies in our training methods. Most of our higher institutions of learning dwell much on theoretical material other than a combination of both theory and practical skills.
The end result is a university graduate who knows every bit of computer theory but hardly able to use a key board.
A journalist with all conventional theories of the press but hardly able to pen down a meaningful sentence.
To be fair, these institutions also do face a host of challenges; central to this being lack of the skilled human capital in the teaching profession.
The few that the universities manage to send abroad for further studies return to source jobs elsewhere because of low pay.
Therefore, government ought to put in place some special incentives for this section of lecturers if our public universities are to retain a good chunk.
But this does not only remain at university lecturers, it has to trickle down even to the primary school teacher.
Government also needs to improve physical infrastructure in our public universities where enrolment numbers continue to grow and yet existing facilities remain the same.
But even then, enrolment rates in our public institutions need to be checked. It’s meaningless to take in more students when facilities in place can’t handle the large numbers.
That is the case with one public university in Kigali where you find over 300 students in one classroom.
How does a lecturer mark, follow up and later on evaluate such a big class?
If we are to achieve quality, we need to overhaul our education system right from the elementary to the university levels.