The level of education is often seen as a form of capital accumulation, which helps in countries development. In Rwanda, the government implemented policies over the years to ensure there is a high literacy rate among the population. After the crisis in 1994, Rwanda focused on human capital rebuilding and increasing enrolment rates. 1996 saw the introduction of 6-year primary, 3-year lower secondary, and 3-year upper secondary education, where Kinyarwanda was the language of teaching up to lower secondary, which changed to French and English in upper secondary. Rwanda education sector analysis report
The Rwandan government has formed a national strategy for information and communications technology (ICT). This is co-ordinated by the Rwanda Information Technology Authority (RITA) which was designed to serve as the national body to support the development and the implementation of the National Information and Communications Infrastructure in the public and private sectors.
There is still room for improvement in the Rwandan education sector, despite implementation of the policies such as free mandatory education for primary school (6 years) and lower secondary schooling (3 years) that is run by state schools. It has achieved significant success in increasing access to education in partnership with organisations like USAID in order to meet its 2020 vision. Education is key and transitions into technology are visible. We are witnesses to some of its technology success of transfer of land tittle going online for instance. None of this would be impossible if the education system was not evolving.
It comes as no surprise therefore for Rwandans to have a legend like Mariam Muganga a 27-year-old holder of a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in Computer and Information Sciences from University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology. This woman put Rwanda on the world map with her startling educational innovation. According to Muganga, her innovation, Academic Bridge, offers a “solution for schools that want to jump into the digital age”. Academic Bridge (the enterprise) has transformed the behaviour patterns and performance of learners as recording and sending of messages of child behaviour can easily be received via sms or e-mail. Attendance to such matters have become much quicker and timely mannered.
The norm, which is common in most African schools is that children are sent to school by parents but daily communication on the child`s performance and behaviour only being attended to at the end of a term, during report collection. Challenges such as long distances, lack of transportation and little/ no technology being contributing factors to efficient parenting. Thus the teacher is the only accountable person to ensure education and monitoring for every child occurs. Having seen this gap between parents and their children education, Mariam found a solution to ensure that a parent is not only updated all the times with his/ her Childs education but also becomes involved all the way, leading to improvements in overall performance of the child in class . The rate of drop outs which is normally experienced due to lack of sufficient follow up is likely to reduce with the use of this application.
Furthermore the application has created a platform for each child to have an account from which reflection of correct allocated marks recorded is visible – a time consuming exercise for most teachers and schools. The application has eliminated potential errors in reports which are normally realised after printing in most schools. It has given teachers the opportunity to technologically advance in daily routines such as attendance list taking and entering of data through their smart phones. No more will teachers stay long hours after school, manually capturing data in this regard. The information the teacher enters is directly accessed by the school administrators online leading to Improvements in communications, which for centuries were not realised. Since the implementation if Miriam’s Academic Bridge application, financial transactions and invoices can be received paperless online by parents. There seems to be high chances for the quality of education to improve with potential to attract more schools not only locally but across borders eventually.