The Minister of Education, Dr Charles Murigande, has dismissed claims that performance in schools has deteriorated because of the switch to English as a medium of instruction and the Nine-Year Basic Education (9-YBE) programme
He noted that the two programs will, instead, produce great returns for the Rwandan people and country.
Speaking to The New Times on Tuesday, Murigande said the two changes were aimed at raising literacy level through increased access to secondary education and suit global changes respectively.
He said that English will help Rwandans to blend in with the rest of the world especially in business and academic ventures, something that will contribute to sustainable development.
Murigande ruled out claims that 9-YBE was introduced abruptly saying the switch began back in 2003, and by 2008, at least 242 schools had adopted the system.
“What was done in 2009 was the scaling up of the programme” he said.
The ministry has extensively trained teachers in the use of English as a medium of instruction, to enable them comfortably embrace the new programme.
“Although they haven’t mastered English to the level we wish them to, they are nevertheless able to teach and this is evidenced in the results of national exams,” he added.
The Minister noted that the 9-YBE has given massive opportunity to students who would otherwise have dropped out of school after primary six
“Of course, change is always difficult, but there is great enthusiasm from the teachers, students, parents and the general community. Rwanda will reap great returns from the current investment in these two programmes,” he added.