Innovations in Technology for Educational Marketing: Stakeholder Perceptions and Implications for Examinations System in Rwanda

Innovations in Technology for Educational Marketing: Stakeholder Perceptions and Implications for Examinations System in Rwanda

John Rutaisire (Rwanda National Examinations Council, Rwanda)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1601-1.ch075
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Abstract

This chapter highlights the importance of educational marketing through modern innovative technologies. It explores how teachers who mark Rwandan primary and secondary examinations perceive the Rwanda National Examinations Council and what the implications are for the effective management of the examinations system. The chapter highlights the Rwandan context in which before the 1994 genocide, the education system was characterized by nepotism, corruption, discrimination and victimization based on ethnicity, regionalism, and gender. Thus, after 1994, the task of the education system was to reverse the imbalance in favor of equity, transparency, accountability and responsiveness in public service. In terms of national examinations, this demanded, among other things, a vigorous marketing strategy through innovation and technology. In spite of the relative success, however, the chapter acknowledges challenges associated with post-conflict educational reconstruction focusing mainly on human resource capacity development and management, and highlights some lessons learned as Rwanda looks forward to the future.
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Organisation Background

The Rwanda National Examinations Council (RNEC) referred to as the ‘Council’ throughout this chapter was established in 1998, and law No 19/2001 of 12.3.2001 outlines its major responsibilities as follows: (i) to be responsible for national examinations for primary and secondary school (ii) establish rules regulating the conduct of national primary and secondary school examinations (iii) uphold transparency and justice in examinations’ administration and other related issues (iv) award certificates or diplomas to successful candidates (v) place successful candidates in different secondary schools and higher education institutions.

The education system in Rwanda before 1994 had been guilty of discrimination, injustice and sowing seeds of division based on ethnicity, sex, regionalism (home background) and religion; and this form of injustice was mainly implemented through examinations (Rutaisire, 2007). Before 1994, entry to all government and assisted schools and tertiary institutions was determined mainly by “Ethnic and Regional” quotas. The results of primary and secondary schools were never published. Also, students’ personal identification files known in French as ‘fiches signeletiques’ were used to identify them as ‘Tutsi, Hutu or Twa.’ The purpose was to identify individuals and, or groups for discrimination and victimization (Rutaisire, etal, 2004). Thus after 1994, there was urgent need to redress this imbalance for purposes of promoting national reconciliation and healing the nation. This entailed reforming the examinations system by considering performance standards which are considered to be the obvious measures of outcome (Gipps and Storbart (1993). As a result, ‘since its establishment, the Rwanda National Examinations Council has been improving transparency, accountability and responsiveness in the Rwandan public service’ (United Nations Public Service Awards, 2009:174). The establishment of the Council after the 1994 genocide was in line with international best practice. For example, West et al (2000) argue in favour of the importance of self management because of the possibility it offers eventually to increased control over policies and resources and expanded scope for leadership. This has implications for effective management of the examinations system in Rwanda.

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