The School of Finance and Banking (SFB) will soon introduce two “new” degree programmes according to news reports quoting the Acting Rector, Prof. Erasmus Kaijage. “More than ever the problems agitating society are predominantly economic,” one Lecturer was quoted as saying. (Wow, What a new discovery!)
“The problems of inequality, discrimination, pollution, energy, growth and stagnation are heavily economic,” he continued.
Another Lecturer observed, “Rwanda is an upcoming tourism destination with many natural resources and hospitable people, yet the potential has not been fully turned into economic gain”.
The School is therefore introducing new degree programmes in Economics and another in Tourism and Hotel Management.
Apart from the lexicon in jargons, SFB, like other Institutions did long ago, will soon introduce courses in Management.
This would be good news if the programmes were really new to Rwanda and gave the people of Rwanda skills that allow them to become innovative or decongest the unemployed in areas that are already clogged with graduates that cannot find employment.
Nearly all Institutions of higher learning in Rwanda offer courses that lead to qualification in Management possibly because they are “cheap” to conduct; the Lecturer stands in front of a couple of dozens of Students and “dictates” notes to students which they later revise, “pass” examinations and are awarded certificates. With minimal research and reading on their own beyond what Lecturers “dictate” to them, the students can hardly compete in the cutthroat job market.
It serves well all the people of Rwanda when our Institutions of higher learning introduce “non-traditional” courses that equip their graduates with skills that allow them to find employment in the emerging fields of employment whose demand can and will continue to grow.
Rwanda will only develop when its people do more and better what we have been doing and our institutions of higher learning should take the lead in creating innovative ideas that empower and spur their students to be agents of change in their communities and the nation at large.
There is nothing new for SFB to introduce courses that have been taught in other Institutions, the quality of skills of their graduates notwithstanding.
SFB should introduce truly “new courses” that equip students with skills and knowledge that is on demand today and most likely in the future. Such Courses as Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Management Degrees; in Logistics Management, Project Planning and Management, Leisure and Sports Management, Hospitality Management, Transport and Supply Chain Management, Stores and Supply Management, Agribusiness Management, Applied Statistics, Urban Planning, Hospital Management, Business and Enterprise Management, Procurement, Auditing, Forensic Accounts and Auditing, Demography, Events Management, Fashion and Design Business Management, Purchasing and Supply, Organization Development, Rural Development, Political Economy to mention but a few.
Needless to mention the gist should be the introduction of more courses that meet the skills needs of the country with emphasis on applied research as and when the resources permit. Research carried out by Staff and Students at Universities and Institutions of Higher learning determines the worth and grading of those Institutions.
These could be supplemented by short professional courses in the different fields of endeavours that lead to postgraduate certificates and diplomas.
Such Courses would give graduates a leg up in the labour market and will be sought after by potential employers.
Graduates in management (Gestion) are already facing difficulty finding employment because employers look for multi-skilled employees who can handle and manage multiple tasks and with the supply of employees far outstripping demand, an in individual with a BA/BS in Management will surely be at a disadvantage.