KIGALI - The Ministry of Education yesterday received a Euro 15m (approx Rwf 12bn) boost for technical and vocational education (TVET).
The Dutch government, through the Netherlands Initiative for Capacity Development of Higher Education donated € 10 million while the Germans, through GTZ provided € 5 million.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the ministry’s head-office, between Finance Minister, James Musoni and Frans Makken, the Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda.
Also present was the Education Minister, Dr Charles Murigande and Backer Beden, head of GTZ programme of economy and employment promotion.
In an interview, Murigande said that €5 million of the grant will be used to promote TVET through the Workforce Development Authority (WDA), while the remaining is earmarked for capacity building for professionals in higher institutions.
According to Murigande, the country is currently facing a problem of sufficient professionals in higher learning institutions especially those with PhD.
He cited an example of the National University of Rwanda with 10,000 students and 500 lecturers, among them only 120 hold PhD’s.
“The ratio of 1:20 is not bad but we need to increase the number of PhD holders from 25 percent to 50 percent,” Murigande said during the interview.
He urged lecturers to have passion for their profession because the few that government had invested in and shaped are being taken by private sector.
“Lecturers or Professors will never be paid like Managing Directors of MTN or Rwandatel, but the important thing is to have those who love their profession and have zeal to contribute to the development of the country,” he said.
In his remarks, Makken hailed the Rwandan government in its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and its ambitious long and medium term strategies of Vision 2020 and Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
He mentioned some of the achievements as increased rollout of education opportunities to Rwandan children.
“The Dutch government is committed to work hand-in-hand with the government of Rwanda to achieve its vision,” Makken said.
Musoni hailed the support, saying it was timely and suits well with the country’s agenda of human development as it targets to be a knowledge-based economy.