There has been a dilemma in many secondary schools over whether this year’s ‘O’ level Entrepreneurship candidates will sit for the paper in November.
As a result, many candidates have been grappling with the issue of studying the subject for the purpose of passing the paper.
It is quite astonishing that many students are always indifferent to subjects or academic tasks that do not give them marks! They are only interested in getting grades rather than acquisition of knowledge.
Many educators across the African continent are faced with the challenge of “de- examinationalising” the education system. Passing exams is not an end in itself, but a means to an end.
Whether Entrepreneurship will be examined should not be the subject of discussion. It should neither cause any intrigues or ripples across the education divide.
Teaching the subject should go on independent of Rwanda National Examinations Council’s intent to examine it or not.
The major goal of education in a country is human resource development with a view of preparing personnel for employment.
In view of the fact that in developing countries’ governments are the major providers of jobs, the course strives to equip learners with skills and capacities to enable them decide to start their own businesses or social- cultural activities and become self reliant.
With that in mind, teaching students to solely pass the subject becomes far fetched and irrelevant.
Without undermining the purpose of tests and examinations, it is important to note that testing the subject will not work as a magic bullet to achieve the core objectives of the course. On the contrary, it is the teaching approach that will de-mystify the subject.
The measures taken by the Government of Rwanda are geared towards ensuring that learning outcomes are aligned to the needs of the labour market. It is against this backdrop that Entrepreneurship was introduced in the Secondary School curriculum.
Learners who complete high school are expected to attain advanced knowledge, skills and competencies to start-up economic, social and cultural activities for the benefit of their lives and communities.
Several people blame their predicament on inability to raise capital to start-up a business. Ironically, some of those who have enormous capital bases lack robust ideas on how to invest and re-invest their money.
Few who have the ideas and capital lack the standard competencies of starting and running business.
Accomplishers of the Rwandan curriculum are already cushioned against any challenges in identifying and generating business ideas and opportunities, organizing businesses and even writing business proposals for funding. All this is meant to happen, thanks to the excellent Entrepreneurship program set by the Ministry of Education.
Tests or not, entrepreneurial education should be well disseminated. Youth unemployment and poverty will be a thing of the past if the programme is well supported, implemented and sustained.
The author is the Director of Studies at Nu Vision High School,