President says the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected all aspects of national life, with education not being spared, particularly for the girl child.
The Head of State made the observation while speaking at the UNESCO Roundtable on building bandwidth, calling for more efforts to ensure that the pandemic does not set back the gains in ensuring that the girl child enjoys education opportunities.
“The disruption of in-person classes has exposed, more than ever, the gap in digital access, skills, and online learning for all children, especially girls,”
“We have the opportunity to re-engage in the cause of girls’ education, so that they are not left even further behind,” President Kagame said.
Citing Rwanda’s example, he said the country continues to invest in digital infrastructure to ensure that young people have the right skills and know-how to compete in the global labour market.
“In Rwanda, we continue to make significant investments in digital infrastructure and training for our young people,”
“For example, the Rwanda Coding Academy admits 50 percent girls, and aims to resolve the shortage in engineers through a focused engineering program at high school level,” he said.
He pointed out that centres of excellence in ICT, including Carnegie Mellon University-Africa, the University of Rwanda, and the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, have dedicated scholarships for female candidates.
“We must ensure that the ongoing global health crisis does not erode these initiatives, and other similar efforts around the world, aimed at bridging the digital gender divide,”
“Narrowing this gap also requires that we sustain efforts for inclusive economic growth, guarantee security and community safety, and continue to promote gender equality more generally,” President Kagame said.
He observed that through partnership with UNESCO and other regional and global initiatives, Rwanda will continue to advocate and act, to ensure girls have access to the digital resources and skills they need.