Home NewsNational Higher Education Council: Delays in Equivalence Issuance Blamed On Applicants

Higher Education Council: Delays in Equivalence Issuance Blamed On Applicants

by Daniel Sabiiti
4:13 pm

lower chamber plenary session where equivalence issues were discussed

Rwanda Parliament has approved recommendations to have its committee follow up on the implementation of a resolution to have the High Education Council (HEC) fast-track services of recognizing academic qualification certificates (equivalences) on due time.

The recommendation comes after the Parliament Education, Technology, Culture, and Youth Committee was tasked this May 2023 to follow up on HEC to resolve issues surrounding delays in the delivery of “Equivalences” of degrees that was sighted in a Labor Commission annual activity report of 2021-2022.

This Labor Commission report showed that in three (3) years there was a problem with human resources management in the civil service where for instance 666 teachers in 29 districts had no equivalences of their degrees or diplomas.

This problem was also seen among other civil servants who applied for degree equivalencies and didn’t get them on time, which compelled the Labor Commission to request some to leave the job positions which they applied for and were posted.

The report showed that some others missed the opportunity because HEC couldn’t provide the equivalence papers on time and was constrained with many challenges despite delivering 3,702 equivalence papers in 2020-2021.

Some of the challenges raised by HEC officials include applicants whose education qualifications are doubted, a large number of Rwandans who study in schools that are not certified or don’t meet the requirements in the countries where they are located or transferred to study in Rwanda without an authority to assess their standards of education and authorization to study in the country.

The other issues were that a large number studied education, health, and engineering studies, and did it remotely (e-learning/Online) and when HEC seeks these schools to confirm the student’s degree, they delay responding, some don’t reply because they don’t exist or have non-existent contact information.

During a plenary session held on July 27, 2023, the committee showed that there has been progress made following the Committee’s assessment of the underlying issues and possible ways to be addressed by HEC.

For instance, the committee found that some measures are already in place such as adding more staff (11) in the department, using online application methods (Irembo), soliciting a UK foreign firm to improve the program, collaborating with embassies, and mass education for all graduates before and after graduation

During the assessment, HEC revealed that they are building a “igher Education Council Management Information System (HECMIS) that will help to store data and show progress on the application for equivalence and be tracked in order to improve services.

HEC also stated that it is working on a regulation for persons/institutions that offer studying abroad/ scholarship services so that those who will be allowed to operate are those who meet the requirements and therefore receive the certificate from the Institution.

MP Veneranda Uwamariya, the Committee Chairperson said that after analyzing the results of these discussions, the Committee found that the measures taken by the institution (HEC) are being implemented properly, so the Committee will continue to monitor the implementation.”

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