How EDPRS will reduce bottlenecks to having an efficient education system in Rwanda

Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) process can help prioritize policies and show the link between poverty reduction and economic growth.

Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) process can help prioritize policies and show the link between poverty reduction and economic growth.

Some government procedures like tenders and procurement processes usually slow down implementation of government policies.

One of the solutions to such problems in the education sector is by decentralised financing and other options that would help to reduce bureaucracy.

Under decentralisation, policy implementation is a responsibility of local governments. As a result, capacity building in most public institutions starts at this level but it is recognised as process not an event.

There also needs to be identification of policies that have been finalised and those that are still in the policy making process within the education sector. Additionally it has to be outlined which policy areas need more support.

Prioritising policies is needed between sectors, sub-sectors and also within sub-sectors themselves. It is proposed that the EDPRS structure should align with education sector structural programme and budget structures so as to clearly link with these documents.

Resource mobililisation is another potential role that the EDPRS process could play. A number of policies are in place, financing needs have also been identified and therefore resource commitments should be improved.

The EDPRS process could help focus on implementation thus helping to set clear targets and well thought out commitments on actions.

Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) one; indicates that we have to recognise that sector strategies are an evolving process; they will not stay static over the whole EDPRS period.

It has also been suggested that the EDPRS process could help in identification of information gaps and data desegregation has so far been identified as a major information gap.

Some data classified by gender and district is available but processing and dissemination of information is expected to improve through the new Education Management Information system (EMIS).

Annual data collections do not currently allow for desegregation by income groups. There is need to recognise that there are some key metholodgical issues in using criteria for identifying the poor.

Therefore direct policy targeting the poor may be less feasible than cover policies. The correlation between policies and their impact on poverty and economic growth is difficult to determine empirically, therefore the approach to policy making has been subjective to some degree.

Studies made during the backward looking review have suggested that; monitoring systems be improved to track the impact of education on poverty and household living conditions survey be analysed.

They also suggest development of a child profile system in order to trace and track primary leavers and drop outs.

The role of science and technology, vocational and technical training in economic growth and poverty reduction should be clearly shown.

Priorities

The first key emerging priority is that of nine-year basic education. This envisages expansion in primary and ordinary level schooling capacity as well as the quality of education. Increases in classrooms, teachers, curriculum and textbooks will be required to achieve this objective.

With regards to teachers; attraction, motivation and retention were identified as serious issues within the backward looking review. Tackling these problems will be a key priority of the newly established teacher service commission.

During the self-evaluation it was recommended that the nine-year basic education programme should address the special needs of the disabled under the line item of special education.

It is necessary therefore to complete the policy for special needs education, which covers all sub-sectors of education. Science and technology in education is the second emerging priority area. Their roles in poverty reduction and economic growth through technical, professional, and vocational training are to be analysed so as to target policies clearly towards these goals.

Planning the sequencing of the science and technology programme in order to ensure strong interest and effective use of resources is recognized as an important step. Some of the planned policy actions for science and technology include developing and implementing training for school directors and teachers of science and mathematics (including gender, pedagogy, and subject area studies). The development and implementation of a strategy to encourage female students to study science and mathematics is proposed, together with encouraging continuation into the secondary and tertiary teaching field.

There are plans to expand Information and communication Technology (ICT) provision and capacity in schools. In conjunction with relevant government and private institutions it has been recommended to develop feasible and affordable TVET options including an evaluation of the effectiveness of current approaches.

To ensure maximum impact on poverty reduction and economic growth; matching technical and vocational training provision with the needs of Rwanda’s labour market and job creation has been identified as a crucial area for improvement.

Ends

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