Rwanda chosen for global pilot education initiative

DAVOS - Rwanda has been chosen for a world pilot programme, which will enhance the country’s National Education Plan.

DAVOS - Rwanda has been chosen for a world pilot programme, which will enhance the country’s National Education Plan.

Rwanda’s selection for the programme, ‘Education for All Fast Track Initiative (FTI)’, was announced over the weekend at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The initiative, funded jointly by several bilateral and multi-lateral organisations like the World Bank, Unicef and Unesco, will support Rwanda in implementing its national education plan. Monetary figures of the support to be accorded were not readily available.

Currently, the Government of Rwanda provides free primary education (UPE). But according to the government’s National Education Plan 2006-2015, there are more reforms including particular emphasis on science and technology promotion and provision of education for all, which are yet to be implemented.

The FTI is a global partnership between donor and developing countries aimed at accelerating the progress of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for universal primary education by 2015. Under the auspices of FTI, low-income countries are expected to use the strengths of the private sector and foundations to achieve education for all.

The State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education Joseph Murekeraho said government is pleased with the initiative. He however said that details on the FTI support will be released later.  A statement posted on their website on Saturday said: ‘The FTI is delighted to announce that the first country to be piloted under this framework will be the Republic of Rwanda.’

It added: ‘This pilot comes as a complement to the GEI two fundamental reports that underline the key successes of effective Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships (MSPs) in education for all.’

Rwanda was chosen as a pilot country because of her track record of creating effective public-private partnerships in education, the statement said.

It explained further that Rwanda’s selection was also based on the emphasis her government is placing on the development of human capital, science and technology. According to the statement, the chairman of Intel Corporation, Craig R Barrett, said: ‘We are pleased to commit to the Global Education Alliance initiative in the Republic of Rwanda as we fully support the goals of education for all.’

While Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft Corporation, said: ‘Microsoft is committed to the ideals of Education For All and believes participation through our unlimited potential initiative in the Global Education Alliance partnership can help to transform education in Rwanda and deliver improved opportunities for all students.’

Intel and Microsoft are some of the major partners of the FTI, and both software companies say they are committed through the global initiative to helping the government of Rwanda and others achieve their priorities in education.

Rwanda, Jordan, Egypt and India have registered laudable success in the global education initiative among the 33 developing countries currently supported by the FTI partnership.

The announcement of this education programme support comes just days after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said it will offer a grant of $46 million, from which Rwandan coffee farmers stand to benefit hugely. The grant was also announced at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos.

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