Press release on Education Sector strategies to promote quality education

Press release on Education Sector strategies to promote quality education

Kigali 05 February 2019

In order to improve the quality of education the Ministry of Education has initiated key strategies, which were announced following the extraordinary Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on 28 January 2019. The decisions taken advance Rwanda’s agenda to become a knowledge-based economy.

Key strategies include:

10% salary increment for primary and secondary teachers: Primary and Secondary teachers in public and government-aided schools will receive a 10% salary increment with effect from March 2019. Along existing incentives like “Umwalimu Sacco”, Teacher Housing, and One cow per teacher, the increment seeks to improve retention and motivation of teachers. The Government considers the wellbeing of teachers as a key factor in their overall performance.

Career path advancement: In order to link benefits to improved teaching profession, a clear career path advancement outlines teachers’ classification (Junior, Senior, and Master Teachers), based on seniority, consistent excellent performance, innovation, and continuous professional development. In consideration for awarding government scholarships, education courses shall be prioritized equally as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related courses.

Incentives for the teaching career path begin with subsidized school fees at the point of entry in the Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) and a revised curriculum that allows access to Higher Education. TTC graduates who will teach for three years in Primary, will qualify for a non-refundable scholarship and living allowance to pursue an undergraduate program in Education, while university graduates who will teach for five years in secondary will qualify for a non-refundable scholarship and living allowance to pursue a Master’s program in Education.

Strengthening Teacher Training Colleges and Demonstration Schools: The Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) put in place strategies to strengthen the quality of TTCs and demonstration schools, where pre-service teachers move from theory to practice. The revised TTC curriculum will ensure that graduates are highly competent teachers and also qualified for continued education and job opportunities. Furthermore, TTCs will be strengthened through provision of school feeding funds and capitation grants to ensure infrastructure and resources in these schools are fully availed. Demonstration schools will also be fully equipped with infrastructure, resources, and qualified staff to role model and coach pre-service teachers.

Comprehensive assessment: District level assessments will be set and administered by Districts at all levels (P1 to P6) and (S1 to S6) at the end of term one and two, with support and quality assurance from the Rwanda Education Board (REB). Annual assessments will be prepared by REB at the end of each year during the period dedicated to school exams at all levels with the exception of P6, S3 and S6 who will sit for national exams on specific examinable subjects.

Standardized English language test: In order to improve the use of English as the medium of instruction, a Standardized English Language Test will be administered by a selected institution to all teachers from upper primary to secondary as well as higher education academic staff. This International English Test will determine teacher’s language level in order to provide proper support and motivate self-learning. Teachers will be expected to make progress towards the level of English required for their profession within three years.

The Standardized English Language Test will also be administered to students. While it will be optional for lower secondary students, upper secondary students will be required to sit for the language test, which will be a condition for entry in higher education. Final year higher education students must pass the test to graduate as well.

Teacher management: In order to improve the recruitment and deployment of basic education teachers and TVET trainers, a well-coordinated and transparent framework will be led by MINEDUC, and involve Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC - Districts) and Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA), while it was initially handled by the Districts alone. After passing the national test, all teachers and TVET trainers will be registered in a central database valid for two years, which will be used to place teachers according to their performance in the national test and on three choices of Districts of their preference.

Sector Education Inspectors (formerly Sector Education Officers) will report to the Department in charge of Basic Education and Quality Assurance and the District. MINEDUC and Districts will collaborate on recruitment, deployment, performance appraisal, reward, monitoring and sanctioning of education staff from District to school level (District Director of Education, District Education Officer, Sector Education Inspector, and Head Teachers), while the daily management of schools and teachers will remain the full responsibility of District authorities. Furthermore, MINEDUC jointly with District Authorities shall assess teachers’ capabilities to establish their competencies and take required actions.

The school calendar: In order to improve the teaching and learning experience and reduce the wait time of secondary graduates before entry into tertiary education, the academic school calendar will undergo a shift to begin in September instead of January. The change will be achieved over a period of four years, from 2019-2022.

For further details, the contact person at the Ministry of Education is:
SALAFINA Flavia, Information, Education and Communication Specialist (Email: , Tel: 0788449500)

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