Early this week, this newspaper touched on problems faced by fresh graduates because of the delay in getting their degree certificates due to several issues, one of which is that they are printed in Europe and come out months later.
Some of them missed job or scholarship opportunities because the “To whom it may concern” testimonials were not recognized. The lamentations of the graduates seem to have been read well and clear and wheels began rolling. The Ministry of Public Service and Labour immediately published a statement directing employers to respect the testimonials given by universities in lieu of degree certificates.
Shortly after, the University of Rwanda also came out and set the record straight, but the most important thing is that it took the criticism well and has promised to address the issues raised and avoid them in future.
That is exactly how institutions should react to criticism; acting swiftly to right the wrongs and not going into defence mode. The shortcomings mentioned within our pages are not to be taken personally but are aimed at improving service delivery.
The culture of taking criticism gracefully and addressing the raised issues should be the norm. Leaders, however well-performing or highly regarded by the appointing authority, should not stop for a breather thinking that they have arrived. They should always bear in mind that there is always room to improve.
But the University of Rwanda and the labour ministry deserve mention for acting swiftly and other institutions need to borrow a leaf from them. No one is perfect but every step is a learning experience and what is most important is getting the best in every lesson.