February 8, 2020

Education Ministry Halts Enrollment of New Students at Christian University

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The Ministry of education has directed the troubled Christain University of Rwanda not to enroll any new students until it fulfills requirements.

In a letter to Dr Damien Habumuremyi, the chair of University’s board and his team, the university is directed not to conduct student registrations.

The directives are contained in the letter received last week by the university management. This letter by Education Minister Dr Eugene Mutimura reminds Christian University of the first letter of July 25, 2019, which set various conditions for the university to be allowed to continue to operate.

The university has to clear taxes owed to Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), and pay arrears owed to Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) in form of staff benefits.

At the time in July last year, the University had huge debt owed to lecturers and also rent for the buildings in which it operates both in Kigali and the branch in Karongi district. For example, staff are said to have been owed up to Rwf 1.6billion.

The education ministry gave Christian University 3 months to clear its mess, and that high education inspectors would return to determine the next course of action. Several things unfavourable to university’s struggling image happened after.

In September, which is the start of the university education academic calendar, lecturers refused to teach demanding that their arrears of 6 months be paid. Some arrears were paid in the weeks that followed.

Education Minister Dr Mutimura says there is good progress on implementing the parameters set, but those that are yet to be put in place are crucial and must be implemented.

In March, when the next review will take place, Dr Mutimura says it doesn’t mean the university will get automatic clearance. It actually risks having its license revoked altogether.

Since this week started, the university started a campaign in the media and social media inviting prospective students to register. One of the promotion tactics used is that new students will get 50% reduction in their tuition for all study programs. The university has up to 10 programs including “Information Technology” and “Journalism”.

This registration drive is not supposed to be conducted as par the education ministry directive until March.

Dr Habumuremyi, the board chair is a former prime minister, and currently serves as head of the Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honour (CHENO), which is a government institution.

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