- Rwanda Civil Society public policy dialogue on 12 years Basic Education
Rwanda’s Vision 2020 and its Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) aim at the development of a knowledge-based and technology-led economy.
In this context, Rwanda has embarked on reforms aiming at improving every aspect of quality education. In line with these efforts, the government of Rwanda has focused on aligning curriculum, teaching and learning, and assessment to ensure that the education system is producing the kind of citizens the country desires.
The second pillar of the Vision 2020 highlights the general need to regularly examine curricula in terms of their relevance to assist in the achievements of education and national development goals and objectives. While curriculum is not the only factor influencing education quality, it is the core of the entire education system.
Rwanda’s government remains committed to achieving UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) number 2 and 3, which call for the opportunity for all children to complete the full course of primary education and for gender disparities in primary and secondary schools to be eliminated by 2015 respectively. The country has made great strides in achieving these goals, with a net primary school enrolment rate of 91.7% . It appears that by 2015, Rwanda will have achieved, or, at least, have come very close to achieving MDG 2 and the education aspects of MDG 3.
In addition to meeting the education policy goals set forth by international organisations, Rwanda maintains its own strategic goals as discussed in the two primary documents, the Rwanda Vision 2020, and the EDPRS. The former emphasizes education’s role in creating human capital to bolster Rwanda’s economy. The policy calls for training and educating people at all levels, including adults that lack the basic education and skills necessary for employment. The EDPRS policy echoes the need for access to quality education at all levels, with the addition of high level objectives related to educational effectiveness, the strengthening of science and technology teaching, and the widespread use of ICT.
In summary, the policy goals of Rwanda’s education system are aimed at creating an educated workforce with the technological knowhow to engage in service sector employment. These goals reflect the government’s overall plan for Rwanda to become a technology hub in Africa, which is based on the fact that the nation’s limited stock of natural resources and arable land necessitate its transformation into a knowledge economy rather than one based on industry or agriculture.