Regional countries must devise ways to improve the quality of their education systems if they are to achieve their development agenda, the president of the Senate has said.
Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo was speaking in Kigali, yesterday, at the opening of a regional summit, held under the theme ‘Achieving Quality Education for All’.
The meeting attracted about ten ministries of education, experts and education stakeholders from the Eastern Africa region.
“Education is the key to supplying the skilled workforce that our labour market needs. Quality education and the creation of a skilled and knowledgeable young population will be the foundation upon which we will achieve our development aspirations,” Ntawukuliryayo said.
He stated that Rwanda places high premium on quality education in her quest to become a knowledge-based economy.
Rwanda is one of the few African countries on track to achieve universal access to primary education with net enrolment currently standing at 96 percent.
Girls have a better enrolment rate than boys.
Government scrapped school fees in public primary schools in 2003, and in lower secondary in 2007.
However, challenges facing Rwanda and other countries in the region in improving quality and learning are multiple. According to the organizers of the meeting, the common challenge is to consistently improve the quality of education for all, in the wake of the ever-increasing student enrolment.
They say the summit is an opportunity for participants to plot the way forward in addressing these challenges, while learning from good regional and international practices to improve quality learning outcomes and key competencies.
Delegates will also discuss, among other things, how to improve teaching and learning, how to better assess learning achievement, promoting literacy, language and reading, teacher training and motivation and strengthening vocational training.
Besides Rwanda, other countries represented at the conference are Burundi, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.