The British Council, a leading UK public utility, has opened operations in Rwanda. It is an organisation that has operations in over 100 countries, and specialises in educational and development efforts, emphasizing innovation in learning and teaching both the Arts and Science subjects.
One of its ambits is teaching the English language. One cannot deny the advantages that came with making English one of the three official languages in Rwanda. However, there are also many handicaps; traditionally a French-speaking nation, a lot needs to be done to make English grow roots so that this medium of communication is universally used efficiently and competently.
As a tested training institution we hope to benefit greatly from The British Council’s presence in the country now. Both teachers and citizens themselves need to maximise usage of the services offered by this institution.
As a medium of instruction in education institutions, English might take a long time to catch on, for such reasons as lack of enough competent teachers to teach it, and also lack of reference materials. This means that pioneering students are having a rough time, but as time goes by, the future is much brighter, and English will soon take its rightful place in Rwandans’ communication agenda.
It becomes even more important - and urgent - that good communication using English is mastered, since Rwanda is now part of the greater East African community, and is on its way to becoming a member of the Commonwealth as well.
One service feature that stands out greatly from the rest is the provision of library facilities. Rwanda could not have been more blessed to have The British Council as one of its partners in development, and this newspaper hopes that establishing a library, as is the case in many places where the Council has set foot, will be a matter of priority. Everyone knows the advantages of having an up-to-date reference house, which we are still short of.
Lastly, every effort is being made by this government to equip its people with competent human personnel to run Rwanda’s affairs. It is a fact that The British Council is a top-notch trainer of such personnel, and so it is with pleasure to welcome whatever scholarship programmes will be offered us in a bid to hone our skills.