There have been persistent complaints by employers that our institutions of higher learning were churning out graduates who were not ready for the job market.
Some had blamed it on the “Tower of Babel” syndrome at universities that were mixing French and English as a language of instruction, and students were expected to follow lectures in either language. The result was a communication breakdown.
To straighten out matters, the government decided to stick to English as the language of instruction, but the light is yet to appear at the end of the tunnel.
It would be expecting too much to think that teachers currently undergoing English induction courses will be proficient overnight. In order to overcome the challenges, there is need for everyone to come on board, especially professional communicators such as the media.
More foreign language content is needed, especially on Radio stations that have the lion’s share of the audience. It was painful to see some contestants in the just concluded Miss Rwanda pageant struggle to complete phrases in either English or French.
How does one expect them to go through academic courses successfully with their poor language skills and their equally insufficiently equipped teachers? Their relationship will be lost in translation.
But they are not the only communication victims; a visit to some government institutions’ websites shows just how deep the communication flaws run. If a district’s portal is incoherent, it shows that communication is not one of its strongest points, and yet it should be the priority.
Something needs to be done, urgently.