Varsity lecturers targeted in fake academic papers probe

KIGALI - The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has dropped a bombshell, saying that some lecturers in private universities used forged academic papers to get recruited.
Announced new machine: RNEC John Rutayisire.
Announced new machine: RNEC John Rutayisire.

KIGALI - The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has dropped a bombshell, saying that some lecturers in private universities used forged academic papers to get recruited.

Prof. Geoffrey Rugege, the NCHE Executive Director confirmed the development to The New Times this week.

According to Rugege, some ‘expatriates’ from neighbouring countries namely, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Uganda were the main culprits.

A source from the Ministry of Education said on Wednesday that some lecturers in the past had been rejected because they were carrying doctored academic transcripts.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he does not speak on behalf of the ministry, said verifying academic transcripts has become regular as efforts to curb the practice are being stepped up.

“In some institutions, we discovered some lecturers had no genuine academic papers. We rejected them,” Rugege said in an exclusive interview at his office in Kacyiru.

“We get lecturers’ academic papers and contact the universities where they claim to have attended.”

“Our work is not to arrest people. We only told these institutions not to employ such people,” Rugege said, adding that, “this should not imply we don’t have qualified lecturers.”

He explained the council needed lecturers who can match international standards, adding that the verification process aims at identifying competent lecturers who can render quality education to students.

When contacted, John Rutayisire, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda National Examination Council (RNEC) said they have acquired a modern machine that will be used to detect forged academic papers.

“It was acquired from Britain. I am sure forged academic papers will be a thing of the past in Rwanda,” Rutayisire said by phone yesterday.

Last year, former NCHE Executive Director, Prof. Pamela Abbott, issued directives to both public and private universities’ to check the papers of their lecturers following complaints that some were using forged papers.

NCHE is the government’s agency mandated to ensure quality and oversee the planning of all tertiary institutions in the country.

Last year, police arrested a self-proclaimed National University of Rwanda (NUR) lecturer, Emmanuel Gakwaya, for allegedly using forged academic papers.

Gakwaya had claimed to have got his Masters and PhD on the same day and the US University he claimed to have attended didn’t exist.

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