The newly sworn-in Ministers of Health and Education have vowed to tackle the challenges that have rattled the two key Ministries in recent months.
Shortly after taking oath at Parliamentary buildings on Friday, the Minister of Health Dr Daniel Ngamije said that his first assignment will be to prepare the country to deal with a possible outbreak of the deadly New Coronavirus.
“After taking oath, our focus will shift to making the country ready to deal with a possible outbreak of the New Coronavirus epidemic by making sure that it does not get to Rwanda and even if there is a case, we are able to efficiently deal with it,” Dr Ngamije said.
It should be recalled that the former Minister of Health Dr Diane Gashumba was dropped after it emerged that she had not said the truth about the country’s preparedness to deal with a possible Coronavirus outbreak.
President Paul Kagame revealed at the opening of the 17th National Leadership Retreat –Umwiherero that Dr Gashumba deliberately lied about Rwanda’s preparedness to deal with the virus which continues to wreak havoc globally.
On Friday, Nigeria confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Sub-Saharan Africa as China, the epicentre of the deadly virus, announced that at least 44 new coronavirus deaths, had been recorded, bringing the number of fatalities to 2,788 in the vast Asian nation.
At least 2,800 people have been killed by the virus worldwide while more than 83,000 have been infected.
Dr Ngamije said his first assignment will be to ensure that Rwanda is ready in the event the deadly virus finds its way to the East African region.
The physician, who until his appointment was working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Rwanda as the National Programme Officer in charge of Malaria and Neglected Tropical diseases said that his immediate task will also be to follow up on the resolutions of the 17th Umwiherero.
“As resolved in the retreat, we are going to put more efforts towards training medical doctors towards making sure that we offer top notch specialty services which will not only benefit the citizens but also contribute to the economy through medical tourism,”
“We are also going to focus on digitization of clinical services so that patients are treated on time and avoid spending a long time in queues and other bureaucratic processes before accessing treatment. We also want to make sure that even health insurance service providers operate in a more efficient manner, paying hospitals on time,” he said.
Quality of Education
The Minister of Education Dr. Valentine Uwamariya said that her main focus will be improving the quality of education, amid concerns that the country is yet to achieve the desired levels of education that can support the ambition to be a knowledge-based economy.
“All my efforts will go towards improving the quality of education because this is what Rwandans are concerned with at the moment. We will assess how we have been doing things and see where we need to make changes to raise the quality of education,”
“We now have an additional State Minister. All of us will have various responsibilities but most importantly we will work together as a team to achieve our goals. But first we will assess why we haven’t been able to achieve the quality of education we want,” Dr Uwamariya said.
Among other things, she said the main focus will be to increase the capacity of teachers to make them competent enough to deliver the desired quality of education while at the same time taking care of their personal welfare in order for them to focus on teaching.
She also said the government will engage the Private Sector more in education in order for them to have an active role, in order to create a labour force that answers the needs of the private sector.
Until her appointment, Dr Uwamariya was the Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of training, Institutional Development and Research at Rwanda Polytechnic – a public Institution established in 2018 to drive the country’s technical schools agenda.
She replaced Dr Eugene Mutimura who was moved to the Science & Technology Commission.