Inside Rwanda’s efforts to empower rural communities through access to modern schools

On 7 July 2023 at 06:16

29 years ago, the mere thought of Rwanda’s current achievements would have been unimaginable. Devastated by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the country was left in ruins. However, today, Rwanda stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of its people, with access to vital infrastructure such as hospitals, roads, schools, and more.

One remarkable example of this progress can be witnessed in Munini, a district in Nyaruguru.

Recently, G.S. St Jean Munini, a modern school, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente during the celebration of Rwanda’s 28th Liberation Anniversary on July 4th, 2023. This state-of-the-art educational facility boasts 47 classrooms, advanced laboratories, a well-stocked library, and a Smart Classroom equipped with computers and internet access to facilitate online learning for students.

Moreover, the school includes a kitchen, a spacious refectory accommodating up to 1000 people, a playground, and a comprehensive range of school supplies. Among others, the Munini Early Childhood Development Center and three kindergarten classrooms cater to the educational needs of the youngest learners in the community.

The head teacher of G.S. St Jean Munini has highlighted the importance of having well-equipped schools and facilities, stating that they greatly enhance students’ learning experiences. Through hands-on experiments and visual aids, students gain a deeper understanding of theoretical concepts and witness their practical applications in real life.

Students themselves expressed their appreciation for the modern facilities. Léonie Niyodusenga, a fifth-year secondary school student specializing in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Biology (MCB) emphasized the significance of laboratories in enhancing their understanding of complex subjects.

With the aid of projectors and visual demonstrations, intricate concepts, such as the human body’s functions, become more accessible and easier to comprehend.

Emmanuel Mbabazi, a student studying Mathematics, Economics, and Geography (MEG), lauded the Smart Classroom available at the school for its invaluable assistance. With access to various technological resources and comprehensive research opportunities, students can explore subjects more deeply and develop practical skills that benefit them both in school and in real-life situations.

TVET schools

Rwanda’s commitment to establishing a knowledge-based economy is reflected in the government’s vision for 2035 and 2050. By these milestones, Rwandans are projected to earn a minimum of $4,000 and $12,000 per year, respectively. Ensuring high-quality education and improved medical services are pivotal to achieving these ambitious development goals.

To this end, the government has undertaken the construction of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools across the country monitored by the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA). These schools provide vocational skills training and other courses previously requiring individuals to cross the border into Uganda for education.

Located near the Rwanda-Uganda borders, Shonga Technical School in Tabagwe Sector and Cyanika Technical Secondary School in Burera District stand as prime examples of this initiative’s success.

These schools inaugurated two years ago offer courses in carpentry, electricity, construction, and more. The Dean of Studies at Cyanika TSS, Jean Baptiste Hitimana, acknowledged the significant positive impact of these schools, as students no longer need to travel across borders to pursue their education.

Verien Hakorimana , head of Shonga TVET, highlighted that the establishment of the school was a response to the local community’s request, ensuring accessibility for youth who previously lacked access to vocational education. He proudly shared the success stories of graduates who secured decent jobs, indicating the schools’ positive influence on both personal and professional development.

Students studying at these TVET schools exemplify the transformative power of modern education.

Thierry Ndatimana, a Construction student at Shonga TSS, expressed gratitude for the school’s presence in their rural area, highlighting the caring leadership that strives to provide opportunities for all Rwandan children.

Julienne Uwineza, a senior five student in Carpentry at Cyanika TSS, emphasized that studying carpentry as a girl was not only fulfilling but also a pathway to personal growth and empowerment. She encouraged her fellow girls to embrace carpentry and prepare for a future filled with possibilities.

These examples of progress are not limited to specific districts. Throughout the country, numerous schools have been constructed, bringing educational infrastructure closer to Rwandans. The government’s unwavering commitment to education and its role in building a prosperous future is evident in these initiatives.

With each milestone achieved, Rwanda continues to prove that transformation and progress are possible even in the face of immense challenges.

By investing in education, infrastructure, and vocational training, the country paves the way for a brighter future, where every Rwandan can pursue their dreams, contribute to their community, and realize their full potential.

Cyanika Technical Secondary School

Groupe Scolaire Kampanga

G.S. St Jean Munini

Shonga Technical School

Kiyumba Technical School