From policies to implementation of open distance learning in Rwanda: A genealogical and governmentality analysis

Evode Mukama

Abstract


The purpose of this paper is to analyse the interplay between policy formulation and implementation in terms of the present historical and cultural practices of open distance learning (ODL) in Rwanda. This paper draws on the Foucauldian genealogical and governmentality analysis. The paper examines Government aspirations as depicted in policy statements starting from2001, ayear aligning with the beginning of the Government of Rwanda’s Vision 2020. This Vision aims at transforming the country from an agrarian to a knowledge-based and technology-led society. This study analysed discourses emerging from policy statements on ODL and scrutinised how Government aspirations were translated into concrete actions. Moreover, the study examined the rationality governing ODL practice and explored governing techniques adopted in relation to ODL discourses.  The findings reveal that, though policies extol ODL potential to increase access, relevance and inclusion in education, and though they highlight the need to improve quality in higher education through affordable, scalable and sustainable technologies, implementing institutions tend to adopt contentious approaches to cope with a dual mode. The study suggests some concrete ideas to close the gap between ODL policy formulation and implementation. 


Keywords


genealogy, governmentality, higher education, open distance learning, policy analysis, Rwanda

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