These are unusual times, most extraordinary period in our lifetime, not just for the people in our country but worldwide-the havoc which cornavirus is causing on livelihoods and economies. These stories and TV pictures streaming out of countries like Italy and Spain, tell the grim reality of the measures quite early on in good time to minimize the impact of pandemic on our country. I cannot overemphasize the message from Government and Ministry of Health to stay at home, to wash hands and social distancing. The fight against this pandemic will call for resourcefulness, courage, determination and community togetherness, to do the right thing.
I will address myself mainly to RP community – especially the staff and students. It is now about three weeks ago since the IPRCs closed and sent the students home. Since that time, it has become apparent that we cannot predict with certainty when educational institutions will reopen. In these circumstances the leadership, working together with MINEDUC, has worked tirelessly to devise ways for RP students to be able to continue with their studies and to interact with their teaching instructors. It will be very important for the students to be alert and proactive to access the resources which will be availed online and through other channels. Your own colleges will be ready at hand to assist any anyone seeking help. This is a time when student themselves should communicate among themselves as much as possible, and even help one another in their online study time. This pandemic has, in some strange way, hastened our efforts to improve and enhance our ICT-support systems for e-learning facilities. There will be no going back as we continue to develop and optimize our online e-learning platform.
Let me also take this opportunity to express my solidarity with my fellow countrymen and women at this time of year when we remember the great tragedy of the Genocide against the Tutsi of 1994, recommitting to “Twibuke Twiyubaka”.
Dr James Gashumba
Vice Chancellor/Rwanda Polytechnic