I recently visited one of the private university based in Kigali and in a third year class I met Kayishema, a 23-year old student. While I was there, the lecturer asked him to come to the board to present an argument based on facts from one lab report that he prepared as part of assignment and he began to smile nervously while looking to his classmates, asking for help.
Yet they were not collaborating on this assignment, his peers tried to give him some hints but they could not help him.
At the end of the class, the lecturer noted that Kayishema was behind in comparison with his fellows: they had all attended previous classes but Kayishema stopped attending classes yet was prepared to graduate.
This is a story that is being encountered in several classrooms across several private universities that have been forced to shut down earlier this month by the ministry of Education, very poor quality education.
With the lack of standard quality of service to sustain in the market they operate in, the national policy to promote Education for All (EFA) efforts has apparently provided to the large group of people a greater access to higher education but this has come about at the expense of compromising the quality of education especially among some private universities.
Yet some private universities argue that strong support from government was essential for them to fulfill their duties, the lack of engagement with research and the poor quality teaching excellence have been described as major root causes of the current situation.
While employers continue to report large deficits in skills among fresh graduates in these private higher learning institutions, the "high-performing" education system in academia is a key to achieve the country’s aspirations of service-oriented economy with a middle-income country status with income per capita to reach $1,240 by the year 2020 (END)
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