EDITORIAL: Give private sector greater say in education reforms

Officials at the Education ministry have said they are undertaking a major review of the national curriculum, which will see sweeping changes particularity at the primary education level.

Officials at the Education ministry have said they are undertaking a major review of the national curriculum, which will see sweeping changes particularity at the primary education level.

New subjects have been approved and contact hours significantly increased, with officials saying that teachers will also be trained on what they say is a new competency-based training approach.

This is not the first time the education sector undergoes major reforms in recent years, even as the issue of the quality of education remains a puzzle.

Delivery of quality education will always pose a challenge with the ever-changing demands of the job market in an increasingly competitive world.

However, with the government seeking to build a private sector-led economy it’s only natural that the private sector takes up a greater role in informing and shaping the curricula at the various educational levels.

The director general of the Workforce Development Authority, in an interview published in today’s issue, says that Rwandans have increasingly embraced Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses, about five years since the government streamlined technical and vocational training programmes.

That there is a positive shift in public attitude toward TVET is good news. That numbers of TVET students are growing by the day is an indication that Rwandans are increasingly appreciating the realities of the labour market and indeed the need to learn a skill that is needed to do a job, other than seeking prestige from academic papers that are a result of abstract learning.

While WDA and TVET are registering much needed progress, it is imperative that classic education is not left behind, and the only way to keep it progressive is to make it more responsive to the labour market. How to do it is probably one of the biggest challenges of our time.

But one major step in that direction would be to actively involve the private sector in every aspect of our education system. The ongoing reforms offer an opportunity in that regard.

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