Africa still faces the issue of numeracy. “As Africans, our ambition should be to consider mathematics as an important tool that will help our students to develop their analytical thinking,” said Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente.
The Prime Minister made the remarks on Monday while officiating the 5th Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) Forum in Kigali.
” In doing so,” he said,” we should ensure that pupils who complete their primary schools are well equipped with relevant basic numeracy skills while those who complete their secondary schools have a minimum proficiency in Mathematics.”
The Prime Minister added that it is high time that all African countries as they have done in promoting literacy, also set up strategies that will guarantee teaching of mathematics at all levels of education.
Dr. Ngirente also noted that one of the key principles of Africa’s Education Strategy is the consideration of quality and relevant education, trainings and research as core for technological innovation and entrepreneurship.
He insisted that it is through digital literacy and advanced skills acquired in Higher Education and TVET that Africa will be able to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“The ultimate goal is to build all required skills to produce relevant technologies for Africa’s innovators, entrepreneurs and future leaders,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s remarks followed a disappointing shortfall in budgetary allocation of funds meant for training materials worth Rwf3.9 billion during the next academic year, a scenario parliament said will affect building practical skills for students in Technical and Vocation Education and Training (TVET).
The Ministry of education last week told the Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony that it had requested for Rwf 5.3 billion, but only Rwf1.4 billion has been availed.
The disappointing development contradicts the Prime Minister’s point of view.
In emphasis, he told participants that a highly educated labour force is a significant catalyst for transforming Africa’s economies.
“… continuous investment in education and skills development is required for the labour force, he said.
” This will move up the value chain into more job creating manufacturing and service sectors while increasing these sectors productivity levels,” the Prime Minister noted.