University of Rwanda on Thursday inaugurated a new building that will house the School of Architecture and Built Environment.
The facility is the result of the ongoing efforts to encourage more girls to join science and technology courses.
So far, 190 girls have benefited from Support to Science and Research project under which the school was built.
Construction of the US$4 million (Rwf3.4 billion) building, which began in 2016, was jointly carried out by China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation Ltd, and Ndovu Builders and General Contractors since.
It was funded by the African Development Fund and implemented by the Ministry of Education. The school has capacity to accommodate 600 students.
It is located at the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology campus in Nyarugenge District. It is comprised of offices, classes and studios where students will undertake their design practice.
In his remarks, the Minister for Education, Eugene Mutimura, thanked all partners who contributed to the project, adding that the facility will enable students to acquire skills as well as promote their innovations.
University of Rwanda’s vice chancellor, Prof Phillip Cotton, said the move is aimed at creating a friendly learning environment for the students.
“The school is for you. It is fantastic and the best in the region. It will improve your education’s dignity, you should look after and protect it,” Cotton said.
According to education officials, architecture students have been struggling to get classrooms which would disturb their learning.
Olga Sebashyitsi, a fourth year student in architecture, said that students have for long been struggling with classroom shortage and they could not focus on their studies.
She said that the building design itself constitutes a lesson. She expected that the friendly environment will help students enjoy their course.
The University of Rwanda is also awaiting the opening of new hostels for female students whose construction is underway in the vicinity of Camp Kigali Primary School.
The hostels are expected to be completed by September this year by Real Contractors Ltd.
During a recent interview with Amb. Charles Murigande, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement at the University of Rwanda, said the hostels will help address problems of accommodation shortage for students.
“We are in the process of solving the shortage of hostels faced by students. Girls have been prioritised because they are more vulnerable.