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Adopt open educational practices to promote and protect the right to education

This petition had 86 supporters

 We write this petition to:

1. Encourage the Governments of Rwanda, to cooperate with stakeholders in higher education to promote and protect access to education as a fundamental human right.

2. Mobilise all stakeholders in tertiary education to come together to move the right to education from aspiration into practices.

We wrote this petition because 40 students in Rwanda were arrested on 17 September 2013, after presenting a letter to the Prime Minister, to request the review of the Government of Rwanda’s decision, to cancel students’ loan for tertiary education. According to BBC Gahuza, this decision could exclude more than 50% of students from public higher education. The students who would be affected by the cancelation of the loan are those from poor families whose performances in the national exams were among the best.

Rwanda’s National Police Spokesman claimed that the students were arrested because they were in illegal demonstration. Nine days after the students were arrested, a court in Kigali ruled that they were innocent and ordered their immediate release. This was followed by the reversion of the Government of Rwanda’s decision to cancel the students’ loan. Now, more than 10,000 students regained the hope for a brighter future they had lost. Grateful to the Government for choosing to take this inclusive track, we encourage decision makers in Rwandan higher education to ensure that no one is denied the right to education due to their socio-economic background.

Mindful of Article 26.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights according to which “higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit” and keeping in mind financial constraints in Rwanda, we would like to encourage the promotion of the sharing culture in which the learning of the rich is shared with the poor, and that of the poor shared with the rich.

We cannot turn a blind eye to the suffocation of enthusiasm and passion for education of the youth in Rwanda and elsewhere. With the adoption of open educational resources and practices, we can create value for all stakeholders, students; rich and poor, academics, higher education institutions, governments and the entire global human society.

We call upon the Government of Rwanda, the Ministry of Education and its agencies, public higher education institutions, academics and students to:

1. Adopt the use of open educational resources and open courses.

2. Establish an open education system in which students can access open courses and resources and learn independently, receive remote support and attend face-to-face sessions only when necessary.  

3. Establish an open assessment system in which students in conventional system and open education students can take same assessments.

4. Establish an open certification system in which conventional students and open education students are treated equally, base on their performance.

5. Establish an open accreditation system in which students learning is accredited based on their performance reflected in the open assessment results.

With all these practices, an inclusive education can be accomplished. If you share our goal, whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever job you do, please join us in this quest. Sign this petition and let people know about this initiative. 

A network of academics, students and other stakeholders who are committed to  champion and support open education practices is being organised.                                                   

A million thanks for supporting this initiative



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