Tuesday, 15 September 2009

How to build 3000 classrooms in a hurry.

Rwanda is short of more than 3000 classrooms for the start of the next academic year in January 2010. This is how the country is going to solve the problem, using the army, parents, prisoners and engineers. Are there some lessons about local involvement which we could learn in England?

The Minister of Education, Dr. Charles Muligande, has emphasized the need for parents’ participation and commitment towards the campaign to build more classrooms ahead of the 9 -Year Basic Education programme in 2010.

According to the Minister, all parents should take up this challenge so that the needed number of classrooms can be available by the start of the academic year.
The 9 -Year Basic Education programme is a pledge made by President Paul Kagame during the 2003 presidential campaigns where he promised that every Rwandan child would have chance to study the first nine years for free.

As the next academic year approaches there is need to build 3,172 classrooms if the programme is to succeed.

“We initially needed over Rwf30 billion for the classrooms, but we managed to secure less than Rwf10 billion from our budget.

That is why we had to look for other alternatives like involving the people around the schools to help us,” said Muligande.

According to the plan, the ministry would avail raw materials and technical support, where an engineer in every district will be availed and a technician on every site and the locals would provide the man power.

The State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Mathias Harebamungu, told this paper that so far 14 districts had received the needed raw materials whose transportation had been carried out by the Ministry of Defence, a stakeholder in this programme.

He also said that people’s response towards this was still positive despite more need to stimulate them more.

There will also be need to use services like TIG and parents making some financial contributions to make this programme a success.

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