2011 is gone but it could have been better

This being the last article of the year 2011, it is only logical that I run through some of the issues that have been significant through the year as well as those that should have been. It is kind of like writing a report card for the year 2011.
Allan Brian Ssenyonga
Allan Brian Ssenyonga

This being the last article of the year 2011, it is only logical that I run through some of the issues that have been significant through the year as well as those that should have been. It is kind of like writing a report card for the year 2011.

The year 2011 saw education sector continue in its strides to adjust to the change from French to English as the medium of tutoring. This is quite encouraging; however, a lot has to be done especially where the reading culture is concerned. If those concerned do not prioritise reading, then we should not be surprised if the system continues to produce half baked products.

A lot of progress has been achieved in 2011. The establishment of the Rwanda Education Board is commendable and the whole country is counting on John Rutayisire to steer this ship safely to its destiny.

At the policy making level, the Education Ministry has seen more changes at the helm with Dr. Vincent Biruta, the latest to grab the steering wheel at the Kacyiru based ministry. The fact that President Paul Kagame made numerous changes at the Education Ministry is a clear sign to those chosen that he is not quite contented with how the ministry is run.

The education ministry should do everything in its capacity to see that the country has a constant supply of quality skilled labour to ensure that Rwanda development goals are attained.

The institutions of higher learning have quickly revealed significant changes in the right direction such as; the synchronization of university calendars with other East African countries. Now Rwandan students are guaranteed to study at the same time with their counterparts in Uganda, Kenya or Tanzania making it easy for them to transfer from one university to another. 

The decision by a famous American University to establish a campus in Rwanda cannot go without mentioning. Carnegie Mellon University is bringing home top quality education that some Rwandans and other Africans are struggling to access in the US.

Our friends from South Korea, through the Korean International Cooperation Agency, have continued to support the teaching of sciences in the country through different initiatives like science competitions, funding the establishment and equipping of ICT labs, among other things.

The regional summit on “Achieving Quality Education for All” hosted by Rwanda at the Serena Hotel and Hotel Des Milles Collines was an important event where participants emphasized the fact that quality education can be ensured as countries increase education enrolment rates.

I was also one of the people who were excited when Rwanda held its first international book fair in February 2010 at CNP, St. Paul in Kigali.

As a strong advocate for a better reading culture, I am saddened that 2011 has gone by and we missed this event that was supposed to be held annually. At such fairs, people can either buy books or go away with a newfound passion for buying and reading books. 

Finally, yet importantly, the first public library is yet to open its doors to book-loving and knowledge-seeking Rwandans. I hope and pray that 2012 turns out to be a much better year for the education sector in Rwanda. Happy New Year to you all.

ssenyonga@gmail.com

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