Families which are rich enough to pay for their children’s university education should do so because that would lessen the burden on the government.
But for those without means, they should not be abandoned; on the contrary, the government should strive for social justice by continuing to help those who are vulnerable to access education.
According to the “World Declaration on Higher Education for the Twenty-First Century”, adopted by Unesco in October 1998, and to which Rwanda is signatory, it was recognised that:
“Higher education shall be accessible to all on the basis of merit. No discrimination can be accepted, no one can be excluded from higher education or its study fields, degree levels and types of institutions on grounds of race, gender, language, religion, or age or because of any economic or social distinctions or physical disabilities.”
In view of this declaration, the Government of Rwanda has the obligation to continue assisting poor citizens so they may not be excluded from any level of education, including higher education.
I, therefore, consider that students in categories Three and Four of the Ubudehe classification arrangement have the right to request (peacefully) the government to consider their claim.
That is, if the new students’ loan policy based on Ubudehe is socially unfair to them.
Reaction to the story, “20 arrested over illegal protest”, (The New Times, September 18)