Rwanda’s education system, which comprises four various levels of education; nursery (kindergarten), primary, secondary, and higher institution of learning, has improved remarkably in recent years after a steep decline due to the 1994 genocide. Today the gross primary school enrollment ratio exceeds 100 percent.
As a result of reconstruction efforts since the 1994 genocide, there has been a general increase of access to all levels of education. However, the education system has faced some problems that have affected its quality. However, these problems are being addressed to prevent them from jeopardizing the achievement of the nation’s targeted goals.
Factors that affected the education sector after the 1994 genocide include; inadequate resources, low completion rates at the primary level , and high dropouts resulting in low transition rates to the secondary level, inadequate quantitative and qualitative infrastructure and teaching materials, poor qualifications of teaching staff, and gender disparities.
The high drops out rates were attributable to the poor quality of infrastructures and to parents’ lack of resources to meet costs related to educating their children. With respect to girls, several other socio-cultural factors such as parents’ preference for educating boys, and the obligation for girls to participate in household chores came into play.
In post-genocide Rwanda, education is being considered as a tool for development, reconstruction and reconciliation.
In an immediate response to improving the education sector, the government of Rwanda has installed various primary, secondary and high institutions of learning to increase the number of Rwandese people who qualify in various disciplines. In all stages of education, all Rwandans have equal opportunities during and after school.
It is important to notice that the Government’s economic recovery efforts after the 1994 genocide have had a remarkable progress in Rwanda’s education system. However, some weaknesses related to quality and relevance still need to be addressed in our education sector.
There are challenges facing the education sector that the Government and its development partners need to address.
These constraints include; low level of science and technology education at the lower levels, which generally comprises mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, technology.
These constraints are explained by the fact that there is; lack of an orientation policy, weak implementation capacity, a physical environment that is less conducive to the integration of science and technology in education, inadequate teacher qualification for the teaching of science and technology; and low proportion of girls in science and technology.
Despite of the above mentioned challenges, the government of Rwanda is determined to promote its education sector in line with the socio and economic development needs of the Rwandese society.
The improvement of the education sector has primarily been embarked on laying concrete foundation for basic education, building capacity in planning, management and monitoring, evaluation and strengthening science and technology training in all education sub-sectors.
The promotion girl’s education under the initiative of first lady Jeannette Kagame has improved the social living of young people in the country. Encouraging the education of girls, particularly in science and technology is another factor that is being addressed today.
This Support for Science and Technology Education focuses primarily on basic education, secondary education, and the training of trainers in order to provide young students with a foundation in science and technology, which will be deepened in higher education and oriented towards innovation and industrial development.
By strengthening science and technology education, it helps to improve the education quality and relevance, and also make science and technology the engine of development in the country. The quality here is looked at the building and equipping science laboratories in secondary schools all over the country, and revising science curricula for primary and secondary schools.