Rwanda is the third most accepting country in the world for those who migrate, according to the Gallup World Poll 2016-2017, after Iceland and New Zealand and ahead of Canada and Sierra Leone.
According to UNICEF, ‘Rwanda is one of the top-performing countries in sub-Saharan Africa in education, having achieved Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 2 for access to Universal Primary Education, with a net enrolment rate of 97.7per cent (boys: 97.3%; girls: 98%) (MINEDUC, 2016)’.
The executive summary of the Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Education ‘Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) 2013-2018’ summarises the government aim to, “… transform Rwanda into a middle-income country by 2020” and that this will be through its people, “its most valuable resource”.
There is a clear recognition that in order to achieve its ambitious goals, “the Rwandan people must be provided opportunities to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes to compete in the labour market and contribute to the social and political life of their country. The mission of the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) is to transform the Rwandan citizen into skilled human capital for the socio-economic development of the country by ensuring equitable access to quality education focusing on combating illiteracy, promotion of science and technology, critical thinking, and positive values”.
UNICEF is working with Rwanda to support the implementation of The Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) in three principal areas; Increasing access to education for vulnerable groups, Quality of education and thirdly, Increasing access to quality pre-primary education.
The Ministry of Education is responsible for the education of the nation and oversees Pre-Primary, Primary, Secondary, Technical and Vocational training and Higher Education.
Pre-primary education is available for children between the ages of 4-6 years before entering in Primary education from the age of 7 – 12 years. The passing of national examinations at the end of Primary education is compulsory for entry into Secondary education which lasts for six years; three years in lower secondary school followed by examinations to enter upper secondary school for another three years. The passing of final examinations enables students to either graduate, enter Technical Secondary School, Teacher Training College or Higher Education.
The three main strategies to achieve Rwanda’s goals are, 1. Expanding access to education at all levels, 2. Improving the quality of education and training and 3. Strengthening the relevance of training to the labour market. Rwanda have been supported by several internal and external agencies and partners to date and, as with all countries, will need to successfully navigate the changes and challenges of the global context as it grows and develops.
People are indeed our most valuable resource and the key the any lasting transformation. I look forward to witnessing Rwanda’s success.
Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants Ltd