FOR all the world governments that I have read about and known, education carries one of the heaviest budgetary allocations in each fiscal year.
One of the UN Millennium Development goals is the achievement of free basic and secondary education by the year 2015. This cannot be achieved without enormous investment in educational infrastructure, materials and the recurrent expenditure that covers the huge salary perks for teachers and other education personnel.
The Dakar Declaration (2000) re-affirmed the vision of the World Declaration on Education for all (Jomtien, 1990) supported by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the convention on the Rights of the Child, that all children, young people and adults have the human right to benefit from an education that will meet their basic learning needs in the best and fullest sense of the term, an education that includes learning to know, to do, to live together and to be.
It is an education geared to the tapping of each individual’s potential and talents, and developing learners’ personalities so that they can improve their lives and transform societies.
The cost of education is the cost of the predetermined government development projects and expenditure. This is what is called opportunity cost in education. The heavy expenditure in education cannot be justified if its core objectives are not accomplished.
To the dismay of many, is the escalating rate of education wastage in many African nations. Education wastage refers to the number of educated people who drop out of the education system at certain levels and those who complete but end up not being useful in developing their home country’s economy. Most of these education graduates cannot be traced or accounted for after their school exit.
Despite frantic efforts by the Rwandan government to engage the youth in as many viable ways as possible, it is disheartening to note that there are many youth who are even senior six graduates who are just vegetating in villages and towns.
One measure to avert the exacerbating of this situation is to have all school leavers registered at the Ministry of Youth in their home districts so that those who do not proceed to higher levels of education can be identified and helped to re-focus and direct their lives.
The author is a teacher and the Director of Studies at Nu-Vision High School, Kabuga.