KIGALI - There is need to promote e-learning to help complement public and private institutions of higher learning, a government official has said.
Justin Nsengiyumva, the Secretary General (SG) in the Ministry of Education, was officiating at the closing ceremony of a three-day sub-regional conference on the role of the Diaspora in distance learning.
Nsengiyumva said that the country’s tertiary education institutions have capacity of only 44,000 students, with the Independent University of Kigali (ULK) leading with 11,000 students, followed by the National University of Rwanda (NUR) with 8,000 students.
“We cannot wait for every student to have access to a lecturer, yet we still have a deficit of graduates. So the way forward is e-learning if we are to achieve our vision,” he said. The SG said that statistically for a country to develop, it needs to have 10 percent of its population as graduates.
“This means that Rwanda needs at least one million graduates, which is far from the current figure,” Nsengiyumva said.
He particularly decried the country’s lack of experts in ICT, and partly blamed the situation on brain drain. He said that it is in that view that the country is doing its best to benefit from Rwandans in the Diaspora since expatriates are very expensive and lack patriotism for the nation.
“We employ engineers from abroad who are expensive and work without deep love for the country. They get money but leave the country in the same situation they found it,” Nsengiyumva decried.
He continued that Africa employs 100,000 expatriates from the Western world every year and pays them $5 billion in the same period. The payment is a burden as well because the money is normally from loans or donations, he said.
“It is unfortunate that some people forget that they are Africans and help other countries to develop, leaving their own lagging behind,” the official added.
ICT is a crucial subject to the country because it is one of the Government’s priorities. Rwanda intends to be a knowledge-based country by the year 2020, from subsistence agriculture to technology.