Editorial: When will the education sector find its own feet?

One of the core functions of the National Leadership Retreat (Umushyikirano) is to revisit government policies, and if necessary, redesign them.

One such move was in the education sector which came under heavy attack for poor performance and churning out half-baked graduates,

The causes for the poor performance are many but one that was identified for special attention was the automatic promotion of students to the next class, regardless of how they performed.

When the policy was first put in place, it was meant to promote universal education but it was not long before the government realized that it was causing more harm than good. Schools were being turned into mass production factories without quality control.

Today we have a generation of people who graduate with no skills and employers have for long complained that many are not fit for the job market. It is a generation that went to school in an atmosphere of total confusion, where non-English speaking teachers were given crash courses in the language and were expected to use English as a medium of education.

It is time education evolved from its trial-and-error mode and bet well-designed long-lasting policies, not one where every new education minister wants to experiment with their new ideas. Our children are not Guinea pigs to be experimented upon.

One positive thing is that the government is quick to act when it finds errors in its policies, but that is no excuse for not having a working formula for the education sector 25 years down the road.


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