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Breaking the barriers in pursuit of higher education

Many young Africans continue to face barriers to higher education across the continent. Young people have the desire to pursue higher education; they have what it takes, from academics to talent and extraordinary minds; however, they continue to face barriers in obtaining the education required to realize their full potential.

According to UNICEF, one of the many barriers to education are direct costs such as fees, clothing, and books, as well as indirect costs such as the inability to attend school for a variety of reasons such as disability, among others.

Many young people find themselves unable to pursue higher education, despite having the necessary qualifications. This is an impediment that must be removed. It’s a vicious cycle that must be broken.

Young people should be given the chance to learn the skills they need to achieve their goals. Initiatives and policies must be implemented to achieve this goal.

Speaking of initiatives, the Mastercard Foundation has officially launched on Saturday 29th October, 2022 the scholars program at the university of Rwanda. This scholarship was awarded to the first cohort of 75 students who are academically qualified but are financially disadvantaged.

The program focuses on women pursuing science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses, young people with disabilities, refugees and other disadvantaged communities.

These young people are “not only academically talented but also leaders,” according to Raymond Ndikumana of the University of Rwanda.

These young people have ideas that will impact their lives and the lives of their communities. They aspire to change people’s lives and leave a legacy that will be remembered by many.

Dushimumuremyi Vasta, a young lady studying law at the University of Rwanda, said she witnessed girls going through various hardships and hopes to use her “skills to advocate for young girls who go through teen pregnancy” as she pursues her legal career.

This young woman believes that obtaining the necessary education and skills will enable her to have an impact on the community. Dushimumuremyi believes she will be able to accomplish something she would not have been able to do otherwise.

Cyomugisha Evacy is a lovely young lady who is intelligent, astute, and ambitious.

The young lady aspires to greatness and believes she must contribute to the advancement of her country.

It was not always easy for her. After successfully passing her National Examination with high distinction she was having a hard time pursuing higher education because she was economically disadvantaged.

The resolute young woman didn’t surrender; she had a purpose and she was not going to give up.

With the ability to further her education, she is convinced that she will be a valuable asset to her community once she has acquired the necessary education and skills.

“I know I’m capable of accomplishing anything I set my mind to.” she said

“I’m confident I’ll make it. I will have a significant impact on my country,” she added.

Kubwimana Emmanuel, a student of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Rwanda, also has dreams and ambitions. He grew up wanting to be an ophthalmologist because he, too, had long struggled with his vision.

Even though he was struggling, he refused to let it limit him.

“I know how difficult it is to have poor eyesight, which is why I want to help people and become an ophthalmologist,” he said.

These young people have aspirations and are motivated. These scholars have ambitions for the future that include making a difference in their communities in whichever way they can.

Kubwimana and his colleagues are not the only ones with goals and ambitions. Many young people do as well, and they are driven and ambitious. However, many continue to face various barriers to pursuing higher education.

It is past time for the appropriate institutions to address these concerns. It is past time to give African youth the opportunity to pursue an education without boundaries.

Young people are the continent’s future; barriers must be overcome, and the cycle broken.

During the scholars program’s ten-year implementation, nearly 40,000 young people gained access to higher education and went on to become high-performing employees in reputable organizations, successful entrepreneurs, and even community leaders.

The Mastercard Foundation hopes to help 1200 young people pursue higher education and realize their dreams through its partnership with the University of Rwanda.

Mukamisha Olga Pamela urged young people to work for community development and change.
These students shared with others their difficult lives and the challenges they face in accessing education.
It is critical to address educational barriers in order to provide opportunities to young disadvantaged people.
Dushimumuremyi Vasta stated that she is willing to assist other young girls.

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