Blog urges minister to order respect for academic year

A blogger has called on the education minister in Burundi to restructure the higher education system and require universities to respect the academic calendar.

Landry Rukundo writes on the blog site Yaga that the hope new students feel when they start university vanishes when they realise an academic year can last longer than 15 months.

“Worse, the course at the faculty of medicine at the University of Ngozi can take longer than a decade, instead of the planned seven years.”

Rukundo quoted medical student Ulysse Uwimana, who said he would have been in his seventh year if the academic calendar had been respected. “I started medicine in 2010-11 and today I am in my fifth year because of the elasticity of the academic years.

“Morale as well as financial repercussions are making themselves felt all through my university studies,” said Uwimana.

Rukundo said he was personally addressing Janivère Ndirahisha, the education minister: “Is it impossible to restructure the higher education system? To require different universities to follow the academic calendar properly?

“Madame Minister, there used to be the opportunity for a student to teach in secondary education to survive. But today that is no longer possible. Life is already hard for students, there’s no need to add to it with interminable academic years.”

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.