Imbuto Foundation – a Rwandan philanthropy organization and its education partners are conducting a training session that will increase chances to hundreds of African high school finalists to get university scholarships for best schools from across the world.
The Yale Young African Scholars Educators’ Conference was launched on Saturday including 26 teachers from Southern and Eastern Africa and 150 students from 29 African countries who started their camp three days earlier at Gashora Girls’ School, Bugesera district in Eastern Province.
Yale University from United States of America, Higher Life Foundation and Education Matters are partnering with Imbuto Foundation to give educators tips on how to make a successful application for admission and scholarship in best universities in the world.
Among others, they invited admission officers from some universities to train educators on requirements so that they, in turn, help students from their schools while students themselves get tips direct from the admission officers.
“I have come to explain how the liberal arts system works and advantage when you apply in such system,” said Eudoran Okine, Assistant Admission Director of New York University, Abu Dhabi Campus – United Arab Emirates.
Okine told KT Press, that in liberal arts system, a student applies for admission and scholarship at the university, without necessarily being specific about the major course, and, once at university, they are exposed to several avenues before they realize where they fit.
Last year, New York University received a total 75,000 applications for admission and about 20% were awarded admission.
Speaking about the advantage of this system after the morning session, Theogene Hagenimana, Deputy Director of Studies at Fawe Girls’ School in Kigali told KT Press; “the system is good because it defies the old tradition where a student pursues a course thinking money instead of following his talent and capabilities.”
This thinking, he said, is influenced by either the society or peers which results in professionals who, at the end, will do their job carelessly.
“Education guidance is vital for a better output in our learning process. It is something our schools need badly,” said Hagenimana.
During application for admission/scholarship, Imbuto and partners expect educators to guide students in essay writing, one of the tests that will show the student’s capacity to pursue a course according to the expectations of a given university.
“Applying for admission is like applying for a job. An essay will help us to know the student and what they are capable to achieve,” said Okine.
Another requirement is for the educators to provide a recommendation letter to the applicant.
Hagenimana understood that, contrary to the old thinking, an educator would try to praise the student so as to lure a school where he is applying, saying the truth about a student is way to go.
“I have learnt that, if for example a student is bright but indiscipline, I may be sincere and indicate it and recommend the school to keep rehabilitating his character,” he said.
Rugamba Patrick, a student from Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwamagana district is one of the students who have started the process to apply for university admission.
Now in Senior 5 Mathematics, Economics and Geography (MEG), Rugamba is working hard to fulfill the requirements so that, after the national exams next year, he can be eligible for his favorite university-Weston College in the UK.
He is interested in Business Management.
“I am doing so much research to fulfill requirements while also preparing myself to challenges in the process,” Rugamba said.
For example, a student, in application process, has to sit the US standard test which evaluates capacity of students to think hard and act quickly.
“You have 51 questions to do in 51 minutes which prepares you to working hard,” he said.