President Paul Kagame on Thursday met and interacted with students from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) about the country’s vision of advancing science and technology, as well as the role they can play towards the cause.
The students are in Rwanda under the CMU - Project Rwanda, a student-led community service initiative that connects CMU students from its Pittsburgh (USA), Qatar and Rwanda campuses with the aim of enhancing the educational experience of Rwandan youth through technology.
This is the initiative’s seventh cohort of students to visit Rwanda.
They are in the country to offer a two-week training programme in three primary schools (E.P. Kacyiru, SOS Village d’Enfant, and IFAK) as well as offering a refresher JAVA course with kLab.
The visiting team is comprised of seven students and one staff member from CMU-Pittsburgh and seven other students from CMU-Qatar.
Established in 2010; CMU Project Rwanda has seen over 140 Rwandan students in 4th and 5th grades receive training in programming, keyboarding, and creative arts, as well as 20 technology literacy and essential IT skills workshops for teachers.
It also facilitates the interaction and cross-cultural exchanges between the students.
The meeting with the President, which took place at Village Urugwiro, was prompted by a tweet sent about a week ago by Andrew Edward, one of the students on the programme.
“We are here in Rwanda until June 1st teaching programming at secondary schools. We would love to meet with you and discuss your vision for education in Rwanda and how we can contribute,” the tweet read in part.
Hey @PaulKagame , we are students from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and in Pittsburgh. We are here in Rwanda until June 1st teaching programming at secondary schools. We would love to meet with you and discuss your vision for education in Rwanda and how we can contribute.— Andrew Edward (@Andrew_Edward37) May 24, 2019
Speaking about what transpired in the meeting, Dr Eugene Mutimura, the Minister of Education, said that the President’s discussions with the youngsters focused on stressing the country’s aspirations towards advancing science and technology in Rwanda and Africa at large.
“We discussed with them about the role they can play in developing Rwanda and Africa through what they study,” he said.
Corry Bird, a student from Pittsburg Campus expressed gratitude to the president and other officials for “being kind enough to offer their time”.
“The country’s vision for a technology based economy is really inspiring.”
Rahmat Mohamed, a Somali student from CMU Rwanda, said she was not only impressed with how Rwanda’s leadership is advancing science and technology education, but also with how it works with lower schools like elementary and primary.
CMU operates a campus in Rwanda, their only one in Africa.