A glance at long-term plans to uplift teachers’ livelihoods

On 24 July 2021 at 01:00

Education is highly regarded as one of pillars of national development. To this end, improving teachers’ livelihoods becomes imperative to ensure sustained quality education. Considering their outstanding contribution to the society, the Government of Rwanda has put in place different initiatives to improve their wellbeing, facilitating them to access financial services and salary increment among other social protection programs.

However, their salary is still considered small to afford all their basic needs and provide for their families stressing the need for more incentive programs.

As he addressed members of both chambers of parliament on 22nd July 2021; Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente shed light on planned actions meant to improve teachers’ welfare.

He explained that interested teachers will be facilitated to pursue studies up to Master’s degree with fully paid and non-refundable scholarship.

Among others, the Government has committed to provide half of school fees for students enrolled in Teacher Training Colleges (TTC) after revising existing curriculum.

“It has been agreed that the Government will provide half of the total school fees for every student enrolled in Teacher Training Colleges until completion of their secondary education,” revealed Dr. Ngirente.

The incentive program to pay 50% of school fees went into effect in the year 2020/2021.

Students pursuing courses in education at the university will not be required to refund the scholarship as so long as they are serving in the education sector after graduation.

“A graduate from TTCs who will serve three years as a teacher in Primary School will receive a scholarship to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in education. He/she will be fully sponsored where the tuition fees and living allowances will be catered for by the Government. Upon completion of this degree, the teacher who teachers in a secondary school for five years will receive a fully-paid non-refundable scholarship and living allowances to pursue Master’s degree in education,” Dr. Ngirente explained.

Rwanda has 16 TTCs accommodating between 3000 and 4000 students every year.

Premier Ngirente also reminisced on incentives introduced for teachers including salary increment to motivate them, improve their wellbeing and subsequently paving the way for quality education.

“We are convinced that quality education cannot improve without uplifting teachers’ wellbeing because they have a significant role to play to attain the desired quality education,” he said.

Since 2019, teachers from secondary and primary schools started receiving 10% annual salary increment. An additional 10 percent was made in 2020.

Dr. Ngirente explained that the increment is also planned in the fiscal year 2021/2022 despite difficult times of COVID-19 the country is going through.

In 2006, the Government introduced Umwalimu Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO), a teachers’ credit and savings scheme meant to improve their lives through easy access to financial services and loans at moderate interest rate.

Rwanda Statistical YearBook 2020 shows that the number of qualified teachers increased from 39 453 to 45 714 in 2019.

Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente outlined priority actions to improve teachers’ wellbeing as he addressed members of both chambers of parliament on 22nd July 2021.