Remarks by the UR VC at the Official Closing of the First International Conference on Re-shaping Education for Sustainable Developement

03 Apr 2023

The 3-day First International Conference on Re-shaping Education for Sustainable Development which took place at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village ( KCEV) from 28 to 30 March 2023 organized by the University of Rwanda-College of Education through Mastercard-funded Leaders in Teaching Initiative (LIT) project, in collaboration with Sustainable Development Solution Network( SDSN)Greatlakes was officially closed by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Rwanda, Dr.Didas Muganga Kayihura

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor noted,
"• Dear Vice Chancellors for Our Partner Universities,
• Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Chair of the SDSN Great Lakes
• Head of different Organizations,
• Distinguished Guests and Delegates,
• Friends of the University of Rwanda,
• Distinguished Guest,
• Ladies and Gentlemen, all protocol observed

It is with greatest pleasure that I join you again today as we come to the end of this fantastic 3-days International Conference on Re-Shaping Education for Sustainable Development (RESD). Let me first express my gratitude to you all for having participated in this maiden conference. This is the beginning ; and I believe you have just had 3-good days of discussions around “Re-thinking Holistic Education for the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

Indeed, in this 3 days’ conference, policy makers, academicians, practitioners, development partners and postgraduate students have shared their experiences and research related ideas/outcomes around various topics presented via plenary sessions, panel discussions and break aways sessions.

I have noted there many of you who came from different parts of our beautiful continent Africa, and Europe. So, thank you for having accepted to be part of the RESD conference history. In total, this conference brought together 204 participants from 14 countries namely : Belgium, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Burundi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Finland, Germany, and Portugal.

Some of key take home from this conference include the fact that quality higher education cannot be achieved if lower levels of education (pre-primary, primary and secondary) still have gaps. Hence, synergy and quality enforcement mechanisms across all levels of education are required to ensuring that education remains relevant and feeds labor market with competent workforce. Also, innovation and use of top technologies in education should be championed.

It was also found that with Covid 19 pandemic lots of lessons were learnt and some of should not be put at waste. These include investment in access to and use of ICTs and collaboration to solve common challenges. That is how some of the keynote speeches reiterated the imperative for inter-country and inter-institutional partnerships and baskets including those for research.

Issue to do with Inclusive and Special Needs Education, Gender equity, School Leadership, STEM, funding and costs to education were also discussed as they are key in and beyond education ecosystem.

We are cognizant that time has been short and sometimes hard to manage but we are happy that at least every presenter here on the site had a chance to present and get feedback on his presentation. Recommendations emanated from the survey will help in the organization of our next conference. Some of these include :
• more conference branding,
• robust communication ahead of the conference (provide regular updates) ,
• availing more print conference related stationeries,
• think of more days for the conference or more parallel sessions,
• establish more flexible modes of payment,
• mapping/booking and proposing accommodation venue for participants,
• ensuring parallel rooms are distant from one another or have soundproof
• collect meal preferences ahead of the conference,
• think of blended conference in the future to give more chance to those who cannot make it physically.
We consider these recommendations as lessons learnt for next conference organization. Remember this was the first for UR-CE. The first step is always challenging but determinants.

Nonetheless, we are proud that the University of Rwanda through the College of Education is positioning itself as a centre for desired changes in education for a sustainable goal. This is paramount because UR-CE is not only the teacher training hub for general secondary schools and Teacher Training Colleges but also the right hand for Rwandan education policy making institutions and Non-Government Organizations with education related interventions.

As we look forward to another RESD conference next year, therefore, let me thank everyone, once again, for having participated and contributed in the various panel sessions. For our Guests who are going back to their home Countries today and tomorrow, we wish you a safe travel. For those staying for a few more days, we are happy that you will have time to Visit Rwanda and enjoy the land of a thousand hills.

I wish you all a good afternoon and may God bless you all.

Thank you for your kind attention."

Dr. Didas Muganga Kayihura, the UR Vice-Chancellor during his remarks at the official closing of the Conference


Subscribe and get our newsletter inbox.

Back to Top