The Ministry of Education says universities that were closed in July this year due to administrative challenges that compromised the quality of education lost some student’s academic transcripts and marks, in what could complicate more the issues of stranded students.
The revelation was made by the Minister of Education, Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, while appearing on KT Radio, without giving a direct answer on the fate of the students who are expected to join other universities to complete their studies.
Dr Uwamariya said that some students from Christian University of Rwanda and Indangaburezi College of Education which were closed in July 2020 due to failure to meet the required standards of private universities.
The two Universities were closed following the earlier closure of University of Kibungo (UNIK), formerly Institute of Agriculture, Technology, and Education of Kibungo (INATEK) which were also closed on June 30, 2020, for the same administrative challenges.
“We have no direct answer at this point for the students whose marks were lost by their former universities which were closed because right now we have nowhere to start from. It is a big challenge,”
“Some students think the universities do not just want to give them their transcripts, but they do not have them. They lost them,” Uwamariya said during Ubyumva ute, a daily KT Radio program on 6th October 2020.
“Another challenge is that some of the people responsible for these mistakes are detained. We are still working with the Higher Education Council (HEC) to solve this matter. But it is not easy, some students claim that they had finished their courses, but they have no academic documents to prove so,” Dr. Uwamariya said.
She pointed out that some students wrote letters asking the Ministry to help them have their former universities refund their money but at this point there is no one to ask about payments and refunds.
“We shall continue looking for a possible solution, but it’s not easy because there is nothing to indicate that students studied by proof of academic transcripts or marks,” Dr. Uwamariya added.
After the closure of these universities, students reported to HEC saying they were in the dilemma of how they would access their academic transcripts to pursue studies in the next academic year that will start in mid-October 2020.
Christian University of Rwanda was owned by former Prime Minister Dr Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, who is currently detained on charges related to issuing bounced cheques. His troubles are linked to the embattled university.
“Some students have got their academic transcripts, but others have not yet. Some lecturers say they were not paid by the former Christian University of Rwanda,” said Ally Radjab Musema, Business Management student at former Christian University of Rwanda said.
He added that “Some students have not got official communication on the fate of their marks and how to get their transcripts.”
According to HEC, the universities were closed after a “comprehensive external audit” and “it was not by surprise to the owners of the institutions.”
HEC explained that three different inspections were conducted before the decision to close these institutions was taken.
The inspection included Institution audit on management, Follow-up Assessment on the operation of the universities, and Verification of the educational services.