In-service teachers in Bugesera district that underwent training through distance learning in former Kigali Institute of Education which has since become University of Rwanda College of Education have expressed dissatisfaction over the Ministry of Education failure to raise their salaries, leaving them at per with holders of secondary school certificates yet their knowledge levels are equivalent to a bachelors degree.
Habineza Ananias, a teacher at Groupe Scolaire Dihiro in Gashora sector of Bugesera district has told IGIHE that he represents 11 teachers with whom they share the complaint of lacking salary increment in Bugesera district.
“We had A2 diploma at the inception of twelve-year basic education. We later attended distance learning courses as we served duty and graduated in 2014 with Bachelors degrees. Since then we have been appealing to the district leaders for salary increment in vain. We sent a complaint letter to Eastern Province but received no reply. We committed to upgrade because we were promised a pay rise but the promise remained unfulfilled,” he said.
Habineza explained that they later sent a complaint to Rwandan Parliamentary Commission on Education, ICT, Culture and Youth on 27th May, 2016.
Talking to IGIHE, Parliamentarian, Mukazibera Agnes chairing the Parliamentary Commission on Education, ICT, Culture and Youth has said; “We have received the complaint from many teachers. We reported it to the Ministry of Education and we are making a follow up.”
The executive secretary of Bugesera district, Hakizimana Elie says that an employee is not paid for his/her degree.
“An in-service teacher holding A2 diploma doesn’t have a pay raise when he obtains another degree. He/she is however required to compete with others holding same degree for new posts to be paid in accordance with the acquired degree,” he said.
Alexis Ntagungira Director of Public Service Management and Development Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA) also highlighted that an in-service teacher who obtained an advanced degree should compete for new posts.
“We already know that problem of teachers and we are explaining them about the structure of rules. If you are working in the post of A2 teacher while you have A1 degree, of course you will receive the payment of the post you are executing. An employee is free to look for another job matching with his/her degree. Many teachers had such a problem but we advise them when they come to us. We also request Public Service managers in districts to advise them,” he said.
“The 2010 labor law indicated that a teacher whose education was advanced being in service doesn’t need to compete for other posts since there was a shortage of teachers. However the new labor law which has not yet been released indicates that such teachers will have to compete for other posts,” he added.
REB to support
The Director General of Rwanda Education Board, Gasana Janvier has told IGIHE he was not aware of the issue.
“The distance learning for teachers was meant to equip teachers with competences.
Earning an advanced degree has to be matched with what laws grant to them.The district should have reserved posts for such teachers holding bachelors degrees in the following year’s job recruitment,” he said.
He explained that the affected teachers should send a complaint to REB explaining their problem to be assisted in finding the right solution.