On 14th March 2015, Higher Learning institutions in Rwanda pledged to be at the forefront of National transformation. This was at the occasion of closing ceremony of a one week governance training (Itorero) that brought together leaders of public and private higher learning institutions at Gabiro Combat Training Center.
Speaking on behalf of the participants,Principal of University of Rwanda -College of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr Usta Kaitesi affirmed that the training mentioned became a platform for HLIs to exchange assess themselves on their role in transforming Rwanda. Consequently, they concurred that it’s time for academicians to wake up and participate actively in transforming Rwanda. She cited the following pledges:
-Create Student support systems (allocating mentors to support students, conducting orientation and career guidance, etc)
-Academic programs development (Conducting tracer surveys, establishing technical and professional advisory groups, etc)
-Research and community (increasing publications, organizing conferences and symposiums, Creating professional fora, etc)
- Staff development and welfare (Establishing accountability system, conducting staff research collaborations, skills and values training, etc
Comments that came in via participants’ interventions and arts performances all along the training turned around a need for a change to improve the quality of education in order to graduate people who can tackle a myriad of challenges the society of Rwanda is facing. Refer to that, the Minister of Education Prof. Silas Lwakabamba challenged academicians to reflect on the critical issues currently facing both public and private higher learning institutions in Rwanda with regard to the quality of education and poor research outputs. He said: “I challenge you to revisit your quality assurance mechanisms, review your curricula and align them with the national needs. On this note, I call upon you to play a proactive role in the Rwanda’s EDPRS 2 and Vision 2020 in training graduates who contribute to the realization of this goal.”
Minister of Education, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba speaking at the closing ceremony of Itorero for HLIs Leadership at Gabiro CTC.
In his remarks, Mr. Boniface Rucagu, Chairman of National Itorero Commission commended HLIs leaders to come together in order to build the nation whereas some years ago Rwandan intellectuals used to meet for the purpose of destruction which led to the Genocide against Tutsis in 1994. He also expressed his gratitude towards HLIs leaders for their commitment to mentor Intagambaruzwa ( Higher Learning institutions students who completed Itorero training). He also took this opportunity to guarantee National Itorero Commission support to Higher Learning Institutions as far as civic education is concerned.
Chairman of National Itorero Commission, Mr. Boniface Rucagu at the closing ceremony of Itorero for HLIs Leadership on 14th March 2015 at Gabiro CTC
Itorero for Higher Learning institutions Leaders brought together 207 participants. As it has become a culture, all participants in Itorero get a name. HLIs leaders who completed Itorero were nicknamed “Inkerabigwi” which is translated in English as “People who strive for great achievements”.
UR Leadership attendance:
R-L: UR's DVC for Finance and Administration, Mr Pudence. Rubingisa moderating a Public Lecture delivered by Chief of Defence Staff General Patrick Nyamvumba.
Principal of College of Education, Prof. George Njoroge speaking at Itorero for HLI's Leadership.
Principal of College of Science and Technology, Prof. Manasse Mbonye
Principal of College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine,Dr. Laetitia Nyinawamwiza
Principal of College of Arts and Social Sciences,Dr.Usta Kaitesi
Principal of College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Prof. Phil Cotton
Principal of College of Business and Economics, Dr. Papias Musafiri ( in spectacles)
DURING ITORERO, THERE WAS PASSION OF PHYSICAL EXERCISES:
RWANDAN CULTURE FEATURED ALSO AMONG ACTIVITIES OF ITORERO FOR HLIs LEADERSHIP
INKERABIGWI's DEMONSTRATIONS AT THE CLOSING CEREMONY WERE HIGHLY APPRECIATED :
PARTICIPANTS WERE AWARDED CERTIFICATES
By Jean Baptiste Micomyiza