During the 15th National Dialogue “Umushyikirano” in December last year, participants were tasked to solve a serious issue; sending back to school children who had dropped out.
“The National Dialogue stressed the need to keep taking necessarily measures and changes aimed to improve quality of education in all education sectors, increasing the number of technical schools and fighting causes of school drop-outs,” the first declaration of last year’s “Umushikirano” reads.
Presenting the implementation status of the 16th Umushyikirano resolution on Thursday, December 13, 2018, Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente revealed that 55, 533 Children who had dropped out of school in 2017 were reintegrated.
Ngirente noted that there has been a considerable drop in statistics of children dropping out of schools from 14% in 2013 to 5.6% in 2016.
The Prime minister noted that 4,123 street children were rehabilitated and empowered with vocational skills.
The Premier also said that 727 teachers in different educational levels including Technical and Vocational Trainings (TVET) were trained, while 713 students are taking courses preparing them to teach in early childhood development schools. The target was to train 600 early childhood development teachers.
For promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses, Prime Minister Ngirente said 20 out of 30 targeted new programs in higher learning institutions and universities were introduced.
For improving the quality of education, 286 smart classrooms were established in 168 schools and were equipped with 4G internet, and this increased the number of smart classrooms rooms to 1,370 in 710 schools.
While the Government confesses the problem of excessive student to teacher ratio and high number of students in a classroom, the Prime Minister said that 922 new classrooms and 1,344 latrines were build this year, and 62,616 teachers were trained in the new school student based curriculum, while 4,417 school based mentors were trained in teaching languages.
Meanwhile, the Prime said a new program changing the school calendar matching the primary and secondary school academic calendar with the university academic year was elaborated.
“In the near future, primary and secondary school students will be starting the academic year in September instead of January,” he said.
He also said that a pilot project to introduce a single shift in primary schools which started with Primary six pupils proved to be successful and it will be extended to Primary five pupils in 2019 academic year.
“It was successful and it upgraded the teaching hours from 4 to 6 hours,” he revealed.
While 8 declarations of last years’ “Umushyikirano” were divided into 56 activities to ease their implementation Premier Ngirente said 10 activities making 18.2% were implemented at between 50-80%, while one activity in regard with renovating TVET schools was underperformed at 1.8%.
He explained that the later met challenges, but assured it is soon getting on track since those challenges have been removed.