MPs assess quality of education in varsities

Members of the Standing Committee on Education, Technology, Culture and Youth in the Lower House yesterday started a two-week tour across the country to examine how institutions of higher learning are delivering hands-on training.

Members of the Standing Committee on Education, Technology, Culture and Youth in the Lower House yesterday started a two-week tour across the country to examine how institutions of higher learning are delivering hands-on training.

The lawmakers are worried that varsities are increasingly producing graduates who know more of theory than practice and they want to engage different stakeholders to reverse the trend.

The legislators began their tour in the Southern Province’s Muhanga District, where they visited the Catholic Institute of Kabgayi.

They also went to the Northern Province’s Musanze District, where they visited the University of Rwanda’s College of Agriculture Environment and Veterinary Medicine.

MP Veneranda Nyirahirwa, vice chairperson of the committee, said her team wants to be able to “bring about some changes” in the way tertiary education is delivered in the country.

Nyirahirwa explained that every institution in the country should bear in mind that quality education is needed in order to provide students with the right skills that meet current labour market needs.

The Chairperson of Private Sector Federation (PSF), Benjamin Gasamagera, told the legislators recently that there is no satisfaction at both levels, with neither graduates nor their employers happy about the level of skills acquired by students during their studies.

He suggested that focus needs to be put on practicals instead of theory, if university graduates are to be more fit for today’s labour market.

The entrepreneur has urged for a direct link between classes and the industry, advising that a requirement of standard values for members of the private sector that entice them to provide opportunity for students and young graduates should be introduced.

The MPs have so far met officials from the Central Government, the Private Sector Federation, the University of Rwanda, as well as members of civil society organisations, among other stakeholders in the education sector, over the issue of quality of education.

They have also urged successful entrepreneurs to forge partnerships with universities to enable students practice what they study in class.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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