THE RELEASE OF results from last year’s examinations was soon followed by the suspension of schools commonly known as candidat libre allegedly for involvement in examination malpractices.
The Education Times this week tackles this delicate question. The private candidate scheme was set up to help offer a chance to those who may have missed out on getting a school certificate through the formal school setting. However, over time the system has been abused compelling the concerned authorities to suspend it until there is some sort of streamlining.
By the time of going to press, consultations between the owners of these schools and the education authorities were still going on and we hope that no matter what happens, this crucial window is not shut. For a country like Rwanda that wants to morph into a knowledge based society, education has to be accessed by all.
This essentially means that even those who had missed out somehow, can be offered a chance to continue with education and move on to greater life prospects. Continuing education is now a reality in all parts of the world. It is essential in developed and developing worlds. In the developing world it offers a chance to those who had missed out while in the developed world it is largely benefiting those who want to learn new technologies or switch careers in order to move to better paying fields.
The Ministry of Education and Rwanda Education Board therefore have a duty to put in place an enabling environment for continuing education in order to boost literacy and skills levels in the country. The system should not be abused again if it is to be beneficial to the intended beneficiaries.
It is also high time that we thought about professionalising adult education in the country. Continuing education schemes like the private candidate arrangements we have in Kigali tend to attract mainly adults yet the kind of teaching is not structured to address their concerns as adults. We need continuing education and we need it delivered in the right way.