BUJUMBURA June 6th (ABP) – The Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday June 1, under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye, analyzed several points, including the Note relating to the management of the problems caused by the failure – compliance with legal texts by certain managers of basic, post-basic and university education establishments.
Fundamental, post-basic and university education establishments are governed by legal texts that those in charge must imperatively respect.
However, some establishments, out of bad faith or ignorance, do not respect them and the application of the sanctions provided for in these texts works to the detriment of pupils and students. That creates conflicts either between the pupils/students and their establishments, or between the ministry and these establishments.
That note first presents the problems observed at the level of basic and post-basic education and then those observed in higher education, while proposing possible solutions.
The cases observed at the level of fundamental and post-basic education are in particular the opening of schools without authorization, the enrollment of pupils at all levels whereas the opening ordinance only provides for enrollment in the first years (1st kindergarten, 1st fundamental and first post-fundamental), the reception of pupils in the middle of the year without authorization. All those three cases are frequently observed in private schools located in urban centers and especially in Bujumbura City Council.
At the level of higher education, there are irregularities in higher education institutions, particularly private ones, in relation to non-compliance with the legal framework governing higher education. The challenges related to graduation in higher education institutions are mainly due to non-compliance with the legal framework. To that end, the following challenges should be mentioned, among others, non-compliance with the conditions of access to higher education, the opening of training programs and the organization of teaching without a ministerial order of opening authorization, graduation without having the ordinance of program approval, non-compliance with the regulations on the organization of administrative and academic governance, as well as the insufficiency of financial means.
After exchanges and debates, the following observations and recommendations were made. For fundamental and post-basic establishments, close, from the 2022/2023 school year, all establishments that have opened their doors without authorization, sanction establishments that have committed faults in accordance with the texts in force, review the ordinance prohibiting the enrollment of students at all levels when the establishment is regular and has sufficient reception capacity, identify at the level of the State services those who are behind that situation and sanction them. For higher education establishments, the following measures are taken in particular for technical education graduates who were not entitled to the national test and who began their university studies after the entry into force of Law No. 1 /22 of December 30, 2011 on the reorganization of higher education in Burundi, their diplomas will not be recognized and will have to pass the state exam to start university again if they want to.
For students who do not hold a State diploma, who have followed professional level programs that are not authorized or approved and have been enrolled against Decree No. 100/140 of June 6, 2013 on the organization of higher professional education medical and paramedical staff in Burundi, they must be granted the diploma of Higher Technician at level A1 by way of derogation.
Educational institutions at various levels responsible for these irregularities must be prosecuted. The Cabinet meeting also analyzed an information note on the “e-nama” platform integrating the interconnection of members of the government.
In order to boost the digital sector, the government of Burundi has developed and implemented the national policy for the development of information and communication technologies since 2011. That policy provides for the digitalization of public institutions. That note highlights a project that aims to use information and communication technologies in the management of the process of preparing meetings of the Cabinet meeting. That project includes the development of a communication and data exchange platform between government institutions, and electronic document management.
The objective sought is to optimize government work through the use of information and communication technologies to make those tools a powerful lever for socio-economic development.
The “e-nama” platform which can be accessed online under the link is one of the digital solutions that the Executive Secretariat of Information and Communication Technologies offers to the government in order to reduce all the expenses related to the cost and on the one hand and to improve the performance of the Council of Ministers with the “zero paper” policy. The note indicates the means necessary to achieve that objective.
After exchanges and debates, the observations and recommendations consisted in improving the performance of the local computer networks of all the ministerial cabinets, and of the General Secretariat of the State in addition to the superstructure (presidency, vice-presidency and prime minister); the funds necessary for the operationalization of the “e-nama” platform integrating the interconnection of members of the government will come from the universal service fund. The executive secretariat for information and communication technologies is to be supported in the work of digitizing government services.
The Cabinet also analyzed the draft decree on Burundi’s accession to the single communication network of the East African community at the “One Network Area” (ONA) initiative. During the 5th Summit of Heads of State of the Northern Corridor held in Nairobi on May 2, 2014, the Heads of State adopted several directives aimed at fostering deeper integration within the sub-region.
Recognizing that roaming charges are too high for trade and have an impact on regional integration and on the prices of goods and services within the sub-region, the Heads of State of the East African region have agreed concrete measures to reduce the costs of roaming for citizens, through an initiative called “One Network-Area (ONA) / Single Communications Network Zone whose deadline for implementation was set at the end of year 2014.
As a reminder, the initiative to create a Single Communication Network Zone “ONA” within the East African community was taken by the Heads of State of the region for two major reasons. Promote regional cooperation between operators, regulators and governments of the East African community, in order to facilitate and encourage the exchange of goods and services, and also solve the thorny problem of the high cost of roaming (communication service in roaming mode) in within the Community.
In subsequent meetings, Burundi committed to implement the East African Community Roaming Framework no later than June 30, 2022. It should be noted that among the members of the East African Community, only Burundi does not has not yet joined this project, as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo which has just joined this community very recently. The benefit of implementing the East African Community Roaming Framework will be significant for Burundian citizens faced with the high costs of roaming in general and regional roaming in particular.
By integrating the unique network of the East African community, communication will become easier and increase traffic allowing an increase in related taxes. A draft decree is proposed that can serve as a basis for the implementation of this project in Burundi. This draft decree indicates that the regional retail rate is capped at US$0.10 per minute including applicable taxes in each country of the community, and the inter-operator rate for the region is capped at US$0.07 per minute. After discussions and debates, the project was adopted.