HUYE — Regional students have called for more integration of information technology and entrepreneurship studies in their university disciplines to minimise unemployment.
Meeting at the National University of Rwanda (NUR) last week, 65 students from the East African Community Students’ Union (EACSU) argued that universities need to produce job creators.
The one-day conference was held under the theme "Youth, ICT, and Entrepreneurship." It was organised by EACSU and aimed at highlighting the role of ICT, and job creation related-courses in spearheading economic development in the region.
"Students should not study to ask for jobs because government can not guarantee jobs for everyone," said Steven Seka, the President of the EACSU. "We need to learn how to create jobs and this is the message students’ representatives should spread to others."
Seka is a fourth year student of Management at the Universite Laique Adventiste de Kigali (UNILAK). He was elected last year to represent students’ guilds from East-African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.
He criticized theoretical ways of learning and urged fellow students’ representatives to always put what they read into practice as it was the only means of fighting the biting poverty in their countries.
"We have seen Masters Degree holders who have read books and booklets but who are unable to do anything today," he said.
"The time will come when we will sing one anthem as East Africans," Prof. Anastase Shyaka who leads NUR’s Centre for Conflicts Management told the students. "You are taking the lead today and you have a chance of being tomorrow’s leaders as well."
Prof. Shyaka is also the chairperson of Rwanda’s National Consultative Committee on the EAC. He advised students in the region to develop exchange programmes among universities in order to learn a wide range of issues in surrounding countries.
NUR’s lecturers briefed participants on the concept of entrepreneurship and the role of ICT in the country’s development.
Commenting on theme, Claver Yisa Kamana, the Director of Planning in Rwanda’s Ministry of Education said, "It is exactly what we need. "I don’t think you could have chosen a better theme than this one."
He said that countries from the regional block are in the process of harmonizing their education systems and the knowledge-based economy is likely to guide education goals in the region.
"The whole world is led by ICT today. Let us not miss this digital revolution," he said.
Participants committed themselves to disseminate the message got from the conference to members of their associations.
"We should set good examples in the society as leaders," said Doris Cornel of the Institute of Social Work in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.