OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES Cyprian Kumwaka, HOD, Business Information Technology Rwanda Tourism University College RWANDA A landlocked country Population of approximately 10 million people with 64% living below the poverty line. 67% of the population is are youth under 25 years of age. Population growth stands at 2.9% with a literacy level of 48% Secondary school transition rate at 42% while the rate of admission in tertiary education at 1%. The rate of qualification of qualified teachers is 20%. Average GDP growth rate stands at 6.2%. Rwanda GDP per capita is US $220 Rwanda Vision 2020 Sources: Rwanda Vision 2020 Republic of Rwanda, Ministry of Public Service and Labour, Youth Internship Program (un) Rwanda Vision 2020, ICT and Education One of the main pillars of the vision is Human Resource Development and creation of a Knowledge- based economy. Rwandan Vision 2020 states that by 2020 the population will be “endowed with professional skills …necessary for the exploitation of its capacities and to efficiently forge ahead towards the development of the country” and “it will be endowed with an educational system that is well adapted to the socio-economic problems of the country”. Challenges Facing Higher Education Limited qualified staff Poor remuneration of academic staff Heavy workload Job insecurity Inadequate facilities Lack of policies strategies and guidelines Education systems not well tailored to the labour market needs High cost of education Improving the Quality and Accessibility of education in IHL Harmonization of salaries Reduction of teaching workload to 24hours per week Easy access to retirement and promotion information Clear and well defined vision, mission, objectives and strategic plans Financing of education –SFAR and FARG Provision of Adequate infrastructure Tailoring the educational system to the labor market needs of Rwanda Improving the Quality and Accessibility of education in IHL The Government of Rwanda with assistance form other stakeholders have taken tremendous steps to address these challenges. Rwanda Vision 2020 The Education Sector Strategic Plan of 2006-20010 (Rwanda Ministry of education, 2006) and of 2008- 2012 (Rwanda Ministry of education, 2008). Role of ICT in Improving the Quality and Access of Education in IHL The Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) identifies science and technology and ICT in education as one of its main objectives in addition to access to education for all and improving the quality of education at all levels. The importance of ICT lies not only in the technology itself, but rather its ability to create greater access to information and communication and use of ICT as alternative channel of education provision through e- learning. Role of ICT in Improving the Quality and Access of Education in IHL The Government of Rwanda has set a national goal that the country will achieve middle income status by 2020 based on an information-rich, knowledge-based society and economy, achieved by modernising its key sectors using ICT. NICI-2010 pillars ICT in education Human capacity development Infrastructure, equipment, and content Economic development Social development E-government and e-governance Private sector development Rural and community access Legal, regulatory, and institutional provisions and standards National security, law, and order NICI-2010 Planned Actions Establish a national library network Develop new e-learning content Implement an educational management system (EMIS) Develop programmes to promote the acquisition of computer equipment by educational institutions Develop a national SchoolNet to provide access to the Internet for schools, facilitate sharing of learning resources, facilitate electronic distance education within the school system, and link Rwandan schools with schools internationally Develop a national computer curriculum for primary and secondary schools and coordinate its implementation Develop a national programme to speed up the deployment and use of ICTs in higher education institutions NICI-2010 Planned Actions (Cont’) Develop a national electronic distance education and training programme that supplements and complements campus-based education at all levels, facilitates lifelong learning, and encourages in-service training in both the public and private sectors Develop special ICT-in-education initiatives for academic exchanges and twinning, implementation of the SMART schools concept, and penetration of ICT into rural schools Establish a regional information technology training and research institute to serve Rwanda and the sub-region Leading by Example President Paul Kagame is leading by example Computerized Cabinet room at the president’s office. Parliament is nearly paperless Electronic voting Every MP has a laptop with internet connection Parliament has a website (www.parliament.gov.rw) Cabinet minutes posted online “The system of governance and technology in Rwanda makes our(Kenyan) parliament look Victorian and archaic.” –Billow Kerrow, Kenya Deputy House Speaker Conclusion Many hurdles to overcome Rwanda is setting the pace in education within EA. All efforts centred in improving education and ICT use for socio-economic development.
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