RE: “The metamorphosis of the OLPC programme” (The New Times, April 21).
Zimbabwe has recently passed legislation which encourages the country’s universities to become industrial hubs to address the high rate of unemployment of graduates. This is a trend in developed countries which are shifting to what some have called Mod2 programmes.
For programmes in ICT in education which require trained teachers and qualified professionals, such efforts make sense.
Rwanda, on the other hand, has chosen to eschew such a logical path by establishing a number of high level “institutes” or programmes, often with their own agendas leading to many of the problems identified in this article. This holds not only for the area of ICT’s but in many of the other disciplines which also prepare graduates for entrance into public service in various areas, from agriculture to management.
It has been noted that funds in education pay higher dividends investing in primary and secondary schools. This not only includes physical resources, but, more importantly, qualified faculty. This requires restructuring programmes in the universities. This requires raising the qualification of graduates at the bachelors and masters levels. The race to create a ranked research institution depends on such improvements also.
Bypassing the university in favour of selective, specialised programmes also suffers from the same lack of attention to quality primary and secondary foundations and improved quality in university graduates who teach for the future.
It’s time that Rwanda to integrate these independent programmes into its university and rethink the future of the university in a changing world.