The first group of 25 journalists that were enrolled at the new Great Lakes Media Centre (GLMC) is set to graduate with diplomas, the Rector of the National University of Rwanda (NUR), Prof. Silas Rwakabamba yesterday said.
According to the Rector, the students who are also practicing journalists at various media houses in the country, joined in a bid to acquire knowledge that makes them professional journalists.
“I would like to express my admiration for this inaugural cohort of the centre. Today we see that we have succeeded in the goal to equip practicing journalists with information and tools necessary,” he said.
“We are trying to arrange the graduation ceremony to take place in June. We believe that the sooner we do it, the better. Through this we are responding to the media needs of the country.”
One of the students, Peace Tumwesigire, noted that studying at GLMC has enabled them to acquire skills in producing balanced stories and master more as regards professional journalism.
“Initially we thought that our having experience in journalism translates into being knowledgeable journalists, but having acquired two years of education in this field, many of us can now testify that we have been working unprofessionally,” Tumwesigire, a journalist at Internews, said.
“With these skills we are ready to carry out our work well and serve the nation better.”
Jean Bosco Rushingabigwi, the outgoing coordinator of the centre, noted that every business is becoming competitive and it was high time, media practitioners upgraded their skills. He explained that each year, 30 students will be taken for these courses.
Lwakabamba noted that GLMC has just received a grant of 500,000 Euros from the European Union adding that it will help in the purchase of equipment for students, capacity building of staff and the development of a new curriculum.
Based in the Southern Province, NUR soon plans to relocate its School of Journalism and Communication to Kigali. It will be hused under one roof with GLMC.