KIGALI - The Ministry of Education and the Government of Haiti, yesterday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining each party’s role in the education of the Haitian students in Rwanda.
The Haitian Minister of Youth, Sports, and Civic Action, Evans Lescouflair, signed on behalf of her Government.
Five Haitian students arrived in the country on January 4, to pursue undergraduate studies in social sciences and business administration at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), after Rwanda offered them full scholarships.
Speaking to The New Times after signing the MoU, Education Minister, Dr. Charles Murigande said that the agreement is one of the programmes aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries.
According to Murigande, the scholarship programme is a joint undertaking of the governments of Rwanda and Haiti, through the Haiti-Rwanda Commission.
The Commission, established in 2010, aims to harness lessons from the Rwandan experience in Haiti’s reconstruction process and to expand the already existing informal partnerships between the two countries.
Minister Lescouflair said that Rwanda serves as a good example of how citizens are capable of rising up to build their own country and said that the Haitian students will go back home after learning a lot about Rwanda, which they will put into practice.
In the MoU, Rwanda is supposed to provide a tuition waiver to the students while the Haiti-Rwanda Commission will cover the cost of accommodation and upkeep.
“We shall encourage the integration of the students into the political and social life in Rwanda by facilitating internships in Rwandan institutions and participation in civic, cultural activities like Itorero,” Murigande said.
Rwanda also has a contingent of 200 police officers under the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), to assist in escort duties; provide security to VIPs and humanitarian assistance and security of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Haiti is still struggling to recover from the January 12, 2010 devastating earthquake that also destroyed up to 95 percent of the State University of Haiti and killed 400 faculty members and as many as 5,000 students.