Parliament has tasked the Minister for Education to provide a written explanation over what they see as inefficiencies at the University of Rwanda (UR). The virtual Plenary Sitting of the Chamber of Deputies held on Tuesday, June 15, made the resolution after it was not satisfied by the verbal explanations that the Minister of Education, Valentine Uwamariya, provided. Among the issues highlighted include the underutilisation of the university’s system, which was meant to ease students’ registration, financial and human resources management. The university has since 2011 when it acquired the system spent an accumulated Rwf2.3 billion on it, according to available documents. Yet, it continues to hire consultants to carry out the very tasks the system was meant to perform. According to the Auditor General (AG)’s report for the year ended June 30, 2019, Integrated Education Business Management Information System (IEBMIS) was not used to its full capacity. The report said the system was not serving its intended purpose while UR continued to spend money on it and on external consultants. The University is still heavily relying on external consultants as indicated in availed 22 contracts with vendors, the AG’s report says. MPs requested the minister to explain the root causes of the problem and provide a roadmap of how those issues will be addressed. Other issues include inefficient management of resources and projects and ineffective public procurement. Uwamariya told MPs that the merger of public higher learning institutions made it difficult to implement the system. In 2013 the former National University of Rwanda was merged with other public higher learning institutions to form the University of Rwanda. This, she said, meant that the system was to be rolled out across other institution whose staff had not been trained on how to use it. The system was supplied by Adapt IT – a South African firm. “This firm did not provide adequate skills on how to use the system,” she said. Another factor, Uwamariya said, is that most of the University staff who were trained on how to use the system have since left the institution. MP Beline Uwineza said that the system has existed for nine years, but utilised at just 21 per cent of its capacity. “There is no hope that the system will be fully utilised, especially because there is no assessment that was made to indicate how it will be effectively used,” she said. MP Madina Ndangiza questioned UR’s ability to retain its most skilled employees. “What is the retention strategy for the skilled University staff,” Ndangiza asked. The Minister said that; “We plan to train a group of personnel for each module in the respective user department [such as academic or HR]. This approach will solve the problem by ensuring that there is no huge gap in case one member of staff leaves the University as it has been the case.” For the long-term strategies, Uwamariya said that the University set up a team of lecturers and students who will help it develops an original system that will be integrated with the national-level systems used by the Government for similar purposes.