I was very happy to learn that a new institution called IPB roughly translated as Byumba Polytechnic Institute has been born.
This is an encouraging development in the education sector in Rwanda.
If you compare with the neighbouring countries, Rwanda is perhaps behind the rest in terms of number of higher learning institutions and the number of courses offered.
If you take an example of Uganda, I guess they now have over 15 universities. In fact, I think almost every district has or will soon have a University of its own. Some of those universities are educating our children including those who study and live/work in Rwanda. I recently learnt that there are some Rwandan students who are taking evening courses in Kabale University.
With this new developments taking place, I would make the following suggestions:
The government of Rwanda should make extra effort to support these institutions that are coming up. I guess no investor would be willing to start an institution of learning after hearing the UNILAK saga.
In one way or the other, the public might see it as government not being supportive.
The Institutions should also put even more extra effort in ensuring quality of education.
The Institutions might not be having the staff with the required standard but to me there is no problem if these institutions outsource.
We have many Rwandans with Masters Degrees and PhDs who would be willing to give lectures.
Again, the institutions should know that they have to make significant contributions to the development process of the country.
That is why their professors should engage seriously in research and publication.
I also suggest that institutions should diversify in terms of courses offered.
It is disappointing sometimes to see that some students in Rwanda study the course they do not like because of limited choice.
That is why you have students who did Biochemistry at Secondary school level and are now studying Business Studies.
Let them introduce variety of courses at all levels. That is Certificate, Diploma, Degree, PhD, Post graduate Diploma, etc.
A big caution on the students is also important. Some students study for the sake of completing.
They do not care what they will go out with. I caution them to be serious on their studies.
I have always advised the ones I meet to work harder and try to get a new skill to add to what they already have.
They should know that after they complete the undergraduate degree, they will need to add a Masters and so on.
With today’s competitive environment, you can never be satisfied with the current level of education.
As a person with a passion for education development in Rwanda, I will be always dropping a line or two in this wonderful paper.
I want to thank the government of Rwanda for the achievements so far and look forward to more developments.