MUHANGA- Five lecturers vying for the 2011 senatorial seat have promised to improve the education standards in Rwanda once elected.
The dons made the pledge during an enthralling campaign held at Kavumu College of Education and Kabgayi Nursing School, Wednesday.
The five are Professors Deogratias Byanafashe, Emmanuel Bajyana, Jean Marie Kayishema (of the National University of Rwanda) and Prof. Kananga Simba Ntale (KHI) and Etienne Ntagwirumugara (KIST).
Only one will be elected to represent teachers and researchers in government institutions in the senate.
Prof. Deogratias Byanafashe, 65, told Electoral College that he plans to advocate for an education that is beneficial to all Rwandans, particularly in the use of ICT and research .
“I will advocate for a profound education based on science, technology and research. It is through such an education that we can attain the development goals of our nation,” Byanafashe said.
Prof. Etienne Ntagwirumugara, 43, - the youngest in the group, said that despite his age, he had conducted a lot of innovative activities and once elected, he would focus on improving the welfare of teachers and capacity building in the field of research education.
“I will increase PhD courses in universities, connectivity of universities through broadband, use of English language in high institutes and marketable courses,” Ntagwirumugara said.
The soft spoken Prof Emmanuel Bajyana, 64, said that electing him would be an opportunity to make history in the country’s education sector.
“I wouldn’t like to boast about my background, because I have done many things for my country. However, I am committed to making history in the education system as I have done in other prior responsibilities,” Prof. Bajyana said.
The flamboyant Prof Kananga Simba Ntale, 52, said that he abandoned good jobs in Canada and USA, to work for his home country and share the gift of knowledge and skills acquired abroad.
“I will introduce the Students Work programs to enable students work and study coherently. I will bring an end to brain drain and promote job creation courses in
the education curriculum,” Kananga Simba Ntale pledged.
Renowned NUR professor of arts, music and playwright, Jean Marie Vianney Kayishema, was the only candidate with a campaign manager. He promised to promote the use of cultural values as a basis for education and sustainable development.
“I will not sleep in the senate, but do a better job that I started long ago. I willcontinue advocating for an education based on cultural needs and values of unity,
language, and focused on improved family life,” said Kayishema.