KIGALI - A parliamentary report on several setbacks within institutions of higher learning has revealed that all 26 institutions operate under pathetic conditions.
The committee that compiled the report was chaired by Adolphe Bazatoha, assisted by five other legislators.
The report exposes shortfalls within the education sectors ranging from the quality of students who graduate from the institutions, quality of education offered, salaries of tutors and lack of teaching equipment.
Presenting the report, committee member, Emmanuel Mudidi, said that most institutions had not adopted the modular system of education, contrary to what was previously agreed.
“Most institutions lack computers while those that have them, lack internet connection,” said Mudidi.
The report cites the National University of Rwanda (NUR) with only five laboratories that are meant to accommodate only 15 students each.
However, the equipment is use by close to 300 students which makes it difficult for lecturers to conduct practical lessons.
According to the report, the zoology lab hosts 257 students while the biology lab lacks equipment and is only accessed by final year students.
The report indicates that the Faculty of Medicine at NUR is still stuck with outdated and expired medical equipment thus posing a health and environmental threat.
“The university lacks apparatus to manufacture distilled water for the faculty of medicine,” says.
The report ranks Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) as one of the best equipped institutions in the country followed by the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
The legislators however maintain that KIST lacks experts to run all the laboratories to their full capacity.
“The National University has over 10,000 students with only 15,000 books in the library and only 54 computers”
“NUR’s School of Journalism is equipped with only six computers and ten cameras shared among 206 students,” the report adds.
According to the report, the School of Finance and Banking has a small library meant to accommodate 60 students but it is used by over 3,800 students.
“Generally all institutions of higher learning lack lecturers and most don’t have tutorial assistants,” reads the report.
At KIST, of the 31 lecturers, 21 have PhDs and all are foreigners; Kigali Institute of Management has 12 lecturers, and only two qualify to be senior lecturers.
The report indicates that salaries of university Rectors defer depending on their contracts.
“For example, at KIST, Rector is paid US$6,500, a housing allowance of US$2,000, transport allowance of Rwf 840,594 plus an annual gratuity package of US$2,312 and 29,500 UK Pounds for home upkeep while the KIE Rector is paid US$6000 and a return air ticket to visit his family.
“Their salaries multiply that of the Rector of Kigali Health Institute many times,” reads the report.
MPs could not hold back their anger and ordered for an immediate summon of the Minister of Education as well as calling for a national dialogue that would bring together all stakeholders to address these issues.
Hon Gabriel Semasaka said that of the 270 pages of the report, 200 refer to problems in the universities.
“This is a dangerous situation; there is no way you can convince parents to send their children to these universities after seeing this report. The line minister should be summoned,” he said.
“The Minister should not come here to tell us policies and plans, but a precise practical measure of what the government is doing to solve these problems.
“I am also informed that there are Rectors of Rwandan nationality who pose as foreigners to earn huge sums of money as expatriates; government should also look into this,” said Semasaka.
Meanwhile, Marie Thérèse Murekatete, another MP, said that some Rectors run institutions as their private business and manage them the way they want.