We can make school curricula responsive to labour market needs

OFFICIALS AT the Rwanda Education Board (Reb) have announced that the body will soon roll out new curricula that are competence-based. 

OFFICIALS AT the Rwanda Education Board (Reb) have announced that the body will soon roll out new curricula that are competence-based. 

They say the proposed syllabi will lay more emphasis on life skills and general knowledge as opposed to theoretical knowledge we have been accustomed to. 

For some time now the quality of Rwanda’s education has been under unforgiving scrutiny with critics accusing education bureaucrats of failing to adjust the programmes so they can respond to the ever-changing needs of the industry.

The criticism is legitimate and it is only logical that the custodians of our education system moved to address these concerns. School curricula should help learners acquire the skills they need to easily fit into the labour market, whether as employees or entrepreneurs, and ultimately make their lives better and contribute to national development. Anything less is an underachievement.

It is an indictment on post-colonial Africa that most of the subjects and courses that are currently taught in our schools were bequeathed to us by colonialists. It will take deliberate and sustained efforts to liberate our schools from the shackles of a colonial legacy.

Yet it would be naive to think that overhauling the curricula is something you can do overnight. While this is something we can possibly sort out in our generation, what is more important is putting in place a mechanism that allows the industry to easily influence school curricula from time to time depending on the needs at hand.

That is why it is important that since Reb is now trying to make the curricula more relevant it should actively reach out to the industry/private sector to ensure that the new programmes are truly responsive to the demands of the labour market. 

We know what needs to be done, let’s roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.

 

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