We reported yesterday that the nine-year basic education programme (9YBE) introduced early last year has seen the number of school-going children significantly increase.
According to the Ministry of Education, the current enrolment rate stands at 97 per cent for boys and 98 per cent for girls. These statistics put Rwanda’s enrolment rate ahead of other countries in the region.
The Government has done its part by ensuring that the programme is up and running; since it is free education for the beneficiaries, there should be no reason why the numbers cannot go even higher.
For the overall objectives of the programme to be achieved, it is important that the focus is not limited to ensuring a high enrollment rate.
Parents, teachers and local leaders should combine forces and make sure that the children do not drop out of school before completing. Enrolling is important, but so is completing. Children tend to drop out of school for various reasons, many of which are preventable.
Through concerted efforts, communities can keep close watch on the children, making sure that they stay in school and perform well.
Since the initial nine years amount to free education, parents should start planning for the next step. They should encourage their children to continue with secondary school - after the nine years.
They can start saving for tuition fees early enough so that by the time the child has completed the nine years, there are resources available to guarantee continuity. One can hardly go wrong when investing in education.