University students to get laptops on loan

KIGALI - In a bid to solve the problem of inadequate computers in most universities in the country, the Ministry of Education is considering providing laptops to students in public institutions of higher learning on loan.
Education Minister Charles Murigande (File Photo)
Education Minister Charles Murigande (File Photo)

KIGALI - In a bid to solve the problem of inadequate computers in most universities in the country, the Ministry of Education is considering providing laptops to students in public institutions of higher learning on loan.

The move was revealed yesterday by Education Minister, Dr. Charles Murigande, during a press conference on social cluster development in the country in the last seven years.

The conference took place ahead of the Liberation Day celebrations slated for July 4.

According to Murigande, students will be given the laptops at affordable prices so they can pay for them in a stipulated period of time.

The minister added that the availability of laptops coupled with wireless internet access at the universities, will also reduce the pressure to expand libraries since there are millions of books that can be accessed online.

A parliamentary commission on education compiled a report early this year, which showed alarming inadequacy of learning materials like computers and books in universities, especially the National University of Rwanda (NUR).

During the conference, a big number of achievements in the Education sector in the last seven years were also highlighted.

According to Minister Murigande, the government policy of promotion of education for all led to a significant increase of children attending pre-primary school. He revealed that the numbers increased from 25,343 in 2003 to a whooping 150,000 in 2009.

The number of pupils attending primary schools also increased from 1,636,563 in 2003 to 2,264,672 in 2009.

Among other achievements that were also highlighted in the meeting is the introduction of the Nine-Year Basic Education Programme (9-YBE) which was put in place to ensure every child is able to at least complete the first nine years of education.

It is under this free education arrangement that the government, in collaboration with the general public, were able to construct a total 3,072 classrooms last year.

The last seven years have also seen primary completion rates increase from 45 percent in 2003 to 88 percent at the end of 2009.

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