After a lull, the issue of accreditation of higher institutions of learning is squarely back on the ministry of Education’s table.
This follows revelations that in order to pass the vetting exercise mounted by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), some of the affected universities, lacking full requirements in terms of equipment and human resources like lecturers, resorted to fraudulent means to pass the said vetting exercise and thus gain accreditation.
They unabashedly hired lecturers, computers and books to dupe the NCHE.
Of course this is deplorable, and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
Rwanda can do without such institutions, as they would be proof of the founders’ sole obsession with pecuniary gains and not social development of the country.
If any institution is found out to have been engaged in such criminal procedure – cheating students and the nation is criminal, as is providing substandard services – they should be closed forthwith.
As should have been done months and years ago. The ministry of Education, through its NCHE, should not have allowed them to open their doors in the first place without fully satisfying the ministry’s standard requirements of opening up a university.
The ping pong between institutions like the Universite Laique Advantiste de Kigali (Unilak) over accreditation has been going on for years, and still the ministry just threatens to close it for lacking requirements, but does not do it.
In the meantime, this prevarication plays straight into the hands of the university, which continues registering students.
If an institution lacks enough to open or run academic affairs as stipulated by Rwandan laws, then why should it be allowed to open, and keep running?
It just plain means that the students are not getting their money’s worth, and finally it is the country to suffer when under-baked graduates pour onto our job market.
How competitive shall Rwanda be in the cutthroat business world that the East African Community has become, not to talk about the rest of the world?
To the Education ministry: we want action, not words. We get weary of vetting exercises and investigations that never seem to get done.
Accredit the institutions or close their doors until they line up physical lecturers and also produce receipts for books and other equipment to prove their authenticity.