22 Mar 2021
Role of research activities in achieving UR-CE assigned mandate
Research activities play an important role for the University of Rwanda’s College of Education (UR-CE) to achieve its mandate. UR-CE lecturers and researchers need to develop and sustain the culture of educational researches as a priority for their contribution to the achievement of the College mission.
At UR-CE like in any other college of the University of Rwanda, research initiatives are strongly encouraged and several research-related policies, strategies, procedures are in place to encourage and facilitate staff to carry out research. The UR-CE Research and Innovation Unit is entrusted with the responsibilities of coordinating and facilitating research activities. The Unit also ensures that academic staff members get the required support to successfully undertake research activities.
In this move, educational researches have been prioritized in a quest to improve quality education. In this context, research activities carried out deal with educational matters aimed at finding solutions to the prevalent education’s problems : gathering needed information to improve educational planning, improving teaching and learning process, curriculum development, school organization, understanding children and youth for a better plan of their education, educational system management, etc.
In this regard, UR-CE researchers question generally programs in place, teaching methodology, learners’ ability, challenges, and particular needs, classroom design and size, educational infrastructures (schools locations, libraries, etc.), educational policy in place, society needs in terms of labor force compared to UR-CE offered programs, among others.
According to Associate Professor Eugene Ndabaga, the Director of Research and Innovation at UR-CE, analyzing educational context helps in relating findings to different life aspects of a society (political, economic, social, etc.) and finally informs policymakers, practitioners, and the general public on predominant educational issues that need particular attention to have and sustain the quality of education. He noted that through researches UR-CE contributes to the formulation of new/improved educational policy, educational programs, curriculum development, educational places development, and strengthening formal or informal education.
’’To perform well their duties, academic staff need constantly to get update on what is going on around their teaching world. On their side, students also need to search beyond what was given by lecturers. Beside, those in the postgraduate programs need to develop skills in conducting research’’, Prof. Ndabaga advised his fellow staff and students.
Through research works, researchers can upgrade their knowledge or gain new ones as well as having better performance records in their fields. According to the new UR Academic Promotion Policy, academic staff, research works and their products in terms of publications contribute to their professional promotion. They can also generate income through commercialization of their research products.
It is within the context of strengthening research that the Rwandan Journal of Education (RJE), which is a peer-reviewed journal, based at the University of Rwanda – College of Education was initiated. It publishes original manuscripts, and it accords priority to quality articles with education themes. It is registered internationally as Rwandan Journal of Education (Rwandan j. educ) with International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), and was accorded the RDB copy right certificate since its 1st copy Vol. 1, No 1 (2012).
In a broad perspective, the community also gains benefits from research works in different ways : new or improved curriculum are developed consequent to research findings, new/improved way of teaching and learning proposed, to mention but a few.