Allow me to react to Aaron Kirunda’s article, “Rwanda education sector needs real transformation”, (The New Times, March 10).
What Mr Kirunda says is very true. Not until we recognise that education is fundamental to all other sectors shall we deliver sustainable development in this beautiful country.
You can't milk a cow you have not fed. Teachers’ well-being remains poor and the argument has always been that they are too many; but to me this is just an excuse, if they are many even students are many.
My suggestion to make it better is: Let’s first raise salaries for qualified teachers to the same level as or even more than other professions, and then make education at university very competitive – just like joining medicine and law faculties is. This will attract the brightest people to education.
Not failures as it has always been. With this therefore we shall be rest assured that in the next 10-20 years we shall have the best HR in education and all other areas, relieving the Government from high costs of hiring expatriates which has become a norm in all ministries.
Mr Kirunda's suggestions make a lot of sense. His suggestions evolve around development of teachers, curricula, and infrastructure. As a person who follows closely what is happening in the education sector, I think Rwanda is on track.
About teachers; I know for example there are a number of incentives for teachers that have been implemented. Umwalimu Sacco is one example.
I understand the challenges by government with regard to inreasing teachers’ salaries but still appreciate the importance of the teachers' incentives to boost their motivation.
I also know curriculum is being revamped from a knowledge based to competence based one. And the skills such as critical thinking, analytical, problem solving, etc will be catered for in the new curricula.
The issue of reducing the student to teacher ratio is crucial and needs huge investment in infrastructure as well.
I am optimistic about the Government of Rwanda's commitment to increasing the quality of education and we should expect further commitments from the 11th National Leadership Retreat.