2011, a year laden with new hope

The year 2010 is finally ebbing to an end. It has been an interesting year especially with the fact that Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup for the first time in history. More interesting was the wrath of Wikileaks in the media world. Nonetheless I believe in the improvement of education as the best way to enhance development.

The year 2010 is finally ebbing to an end. It has been an interesting year especially with the fact that Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup for the first time in history. More interesting was the wrath of Wikileaks in the media world.

Nonetheless I believe in the improvement of education as the best way to enhance development. For that reason, I am impressed that a good number of people have responded with praise and criticism at different columns throughout the year.

Anxiously looking forward to 2011, I am convinced that it will be a great year as far as education is concerned. Besides, the fact that the government decided to cut spending on universities, the future looks bright at the other education fronts.

More money will be channelled towards lower primary education and this will see more Rwandans accessing basic education.

The 9-Year-Basic-Education programme has seen some major developments in 2010 with many regions struggling to construct the necessary classrooms and facilities. I commend all those who have helped in one way or another to see that this project takes off.

probably sometime in 2011, the provision of free basic education will be extended to 12 years. All these are steps in the right direction and we should all try our best to support the government in these efforts.

In case you are not aware, 2011 is set to be the first year in which all sections of the education system will have English as the language of instruction. The last batch of students using French as a language of instruction completed their examinations last month. Therefore, next year the phasing out of French as a language of instruction will be finalised.

The advantages of using English as a language of instruction have been clearly pointed out over time and so all we have to do is embrace the change and flow with the current. The recent English language training for teachers should go a long way in making life easier for both teachers and students.

However, those teachers who still have trouble with the language should continue making effort to improve. Otherwise a teacher who is not familiar with English is a threat to a student’s academic development.

It is also important for language teachers to use effective teaching methods so that English is well leant. The issue of graduates who are unable to communicate in English as was the case with French, should be something of the past.

To achieve this, a good reading culture must be encouraged by teachers. Students must be accorded ample time to read English text so as to master better language skills. Parents must also support this by buying reading books for their children.

I am glad to add that the Rotary Club of Virunga has expressed plans to open the first public library sometime in March 2011. I have waited for this library for ages and I will honestly be one of the happiest people when the project is completed and book lovers are given a decent home in Kacyiru.

I guess the opening of this library will be the best New Year gift from the Rotary Club of Virunga to the people living in Rwanda. My prayer is that it will not be the last effort to improve the reading culture but rather a kick-start for more literacy facilities to develop.  Happy New Year 2011.

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