Rwanda like most of her Third World counterparts faces a big challenge of human resource. But the effort of pulling up the key sectors has never left education behind.
This is despite the incompetence and low quality is being detected in among the many of university graduates.
But believe me, this disease did not grow in a vacuum; it has got rich fertilizers, that have favoured its growth. An analysis of this problem cannot dwell on a single factor.
The journey to find the roots of the education problem may take you back to the primary level but I don’t intend to go that far. I wish to write my views on high schools and universities.
Obviously teachers stand number one factor to analyse in a need to get to the heart of the problem so as to get the possible solutions.
You can ask your self these simple questions-
Do we have qualified teachers to produce the quality products?
Things cannot just come out of a vacuum; this is not about “the Big Bang Theory”, as you know, you cannot give what you don’t have.
If the practice is based only on hand-outs and cramming, automatically, you will see what you are seeing today.
Students tend to cram because you lack understanding, the lack of understanding is caused by the lack of relevant references and to reach this reference of course you need guidance and a support from your instructor, and so if the later is unable to do this, then the whole system collapses.
However, the qualification should not only stop at looking on skills an individual teacher or a lecturer possesses but it should also entail the means and ways to put in practice what he is required to.
And this brings in the question of financial problems. If there are people who always complain of low salaries, its teachers!
What do you think can really motivate these people? In some areas, they even spend as many as six months without a single coin credited to their accounts, imagine that!
Then you expect this person to perform his duties well. However, the financial question should not be the justification for incompetence.
Do we have facilities?
It becomes quite challenging if the environment itself doesn’t support a student in her or his studies. With the above challenges of teachers, then add there lack of class rooms, libraries and laboratories, and when it comes to university students, it becomes worse as it includes the problems of social welfare like accommodation.
Now how do you really expect this unfortunate student to come up with skills to compete universally?
Behind a successful project, there is favourable environment.
Is the Ministry of Education doing its job?
Though my purpose is not apportioning blame, some people have to get serious.
I was really shocked last time when I heard former Minister of education over Contact FM’s “CROSS FIRE” show saying that she was not aware of how serious the SFB problem was; she was only getting to know it from the journalist.
This really shows a high level of irresponsibility.
As education is a paramount sector in the life of the country, its success should not be the work of a sole man but by the contribution of all stake holders. Finger pointing will not change anything.