EDITORIAL: Education ministry should streamline its regulatory mechanism

A dispute has ensued between Institut Superieur Pedagogique de Gitwe (ISPG) and a group of former students who accuse it of providing them with knowledge that is substandard after the latter were supposedly found unfit for the labour market.

A dispute has ensued between Institut Superieur Pedagogique de Gitwe (ISPG) and a group of former students who accuse it of providing them with knowledge that is substandard after the latter were supposedly found unfit for the labour market.

The former students say they cannot be employed as laboratory technicians since they did not fully train in medical laboratory technology, a course which ISPG introduced only after the affected students had already graduated.

While the school authorities say the students studied a few modules in the field of laboratory science, Rwanda Allied Health Professional Council (RAHPC) has rejected to accredit the former students saying they were not trained to the required standards.

Yet, as reported by this newspaper yesterday, some of the graduates in question have already found jobs in their professional field, a phenomenon that raises more questions than it answers since they are arguably not up to standard, at least according to the other parties involved; RAHPC, the Ministry of Education, and ISPG.

Disturbingly, whereas it’s in order to ask the former students to take the essential course if they are to acquire the skills needed in their field of training, Education officials’ response to this matter is less than impressive as they fail to take responsibility and to hold the school accountable.

It’s the responsibility of the Ministry of Education to ensure that schools offer standard, quality training as expected, failure of which the school in question should be closed until it has adjusted accordingly.

We have also previously seen cases of former students who have spent years without graduating because their respective institutions of higher learning were yet to be accredited long after they threw their gates wide open for students.

It is our hope that Parliament, which is currently looking into the case of the former ISPG students, also investigates circumstances under which academic institutions are allowed to open but go on to operate for years without accreditation, meaning students who finish their courses cannot graduate and therefore can hardly find a job on the basis of their university education.

It’s about time the Ministry of Education streamlined its regulatory and oversight mechanisms, particularly with regard to private higher education providers.

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