Balinda’s decision, the way to follow

The decision by Rwigamba Balinda, the Proprietor of Kigali Independent University (ULK) to introduce English as the only language of instruction should be the way to go for other investors in the education sector. Time and again, the government has warned investors who join the sector with one prime objective---making money and in some instances, with total disregard to the quality of education the students are getting. Balinda an educationist himself, has set the right channel for others to follow as he did not look at millions of francs that could embellish his account but decided to put first the interest of students, in this case interests of the country. In realising that French is a diminishing language, growing irrelevant both on the international labour market and the international business arena. He not only risked prospective losses he may incur in some students who may stubbornly shun his school following his announcement, he went on to offer free English lessons to students to help them polish their knowledge in the language before they start getting instructions.

The decision by Rwigamba Balinda, the Proprietor of Kigali Independent University (ULK) to introduce English as the only language of instruction should be the way to go for other investors in the education sector.

Time and again, the government has warned investors who join the sector with one prime objective---making money and in some instances, with total disregard to the quality of education the students are getting.

Balinda an educationist himself, has set the right channel for others to follow as he did not look at millions of francs that could embellish his account but decided to put first the interest of students, in this case interests of the country.

In realising that French is a diminishing language, growing irrelevant both on the international labour market and the international business arena.

He not only risked prospective losses he may incur in some students who may stubbornly shun his school following his announcement, he went on to offer free English lessons to students to help them polish their knowledge in the language before they start getting instructions.

If the country was to achieve its goal of making ours a knowledge-based economy and enabling our children, inevitably the leaders of tomorrow, then other private schools--primary, secondary and institutions of higher learning---should go Balinda’s way.

Ours is a country with very minimum natural resources to boast of and the only resources we have are the populace. We should therefore not cling on a language even whose owners have confessed, is loosing relevance.

Public institutions should also take this bold move to ensure that by 2015, when we envision the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals, we have an internationally competent workforce in graduands from all our universities.

With the economic integration on which Rwanda –just like any other nation craving for development—has embarked, having a workforce with a good command of English and some French should be our niche.

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