EDITORIAL: Something is definitely wrong with REB

Sometimes there is a tendency to pinch oneself to ascertain they are awake and not dreaming when they encounter some mind-blowing situations.

Such is the disbelief this week when the leadership of Rwanda Education Board (REB) appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in parliament.

The education sector, and REB in particular, have come under heavy criticism from many quarters in the past; there is no love lost when it comes to the quality of education as well as its harphazard policies that are always changing as much as the weather.

Seating through the PAC-REB hearings this week, it was just one surprise after another that at one point, one of the officials being grilled was shown the door for trying to undermine PAC’s intelligence by telling ridiculous lies.

While several former senior REB officials are on trial, it is still unbelievable that in this day and age, with perfect knowledge of the country’s zero-tolerance for corruption and its meticulous monitoring, that the head of a government agency can have the courage to single-handedly give out tenders and hope to get away with it.

But when that very action is the reason behind the paralysis of a flagship education project, such as doing away with classical blackboards in favour of electronic boards, and fully digitising the whole education process, then something is not right.

However, nothing beats the fact that a responsible leader of an organisation can approve the distribution of laptops to schools with no electricity. That is the epitome of incompetence, to say it politely.

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