District in Eastern Rwanda Adopts A “Teachers First” Policy

Teacher assists a student during a mathematics exercise. In Gatsibo, a teacher is to be first served

Nyagatare district in Eastern Province has put in place an arrangement that will allow teachers to be served first without having to queue or to wait in the system of “first come first served.”

The district mayor Gasana Richard said yesterday, that they are looking into possibility to give the teacher a card – pass so that any service provider who sees it tells the rest of the people on the queue-“hold on! Let’s first serve the teacher before we proceed.”

Intention: to improve quality of education and to strive for teachers’ development.

Quality of education in Rwanda has always caused controversies with some blaming the government’s “poor pay”. A debutant primary teacher earns around Rwf 40,000 or $40 per month.

They say that this cannot motivate the teacher. Others say the highly populated classes is to blame because the teacher does not have enough time to give every student ample time.

The mayor suggests that a teacher spends a valuable amount of time with children-students and tighus, cannot afford to spend much more time queuing with other people for different services.

“If you serve the teacher quickly, it’s in the interest of students first and foremost. Students will have enough time with him,” Mayor Gasana said.

“More time with the teacher means better quality. I have heard others arguing that this system should rather start with the medical practitioners. Who does not understand the meaning of a teacher in our lives really?”

Gasana says, a students owes their success to teachers who give them good amount of time and who are happy.

Thus, he said, serving the teacher first will be another incentives that will encourage them to feel that they are taken as people with esteem.

The district is of a view that, if a teacher who actually earns a relatively small salary is given more time, they will be able to think about more projects that would earn them money.

Apparently, Gatsibo district is being sensitive to the lives of several working clusters. Of recent, the district invested in a project that seeks to provide a motorbike to every coordinator of cell, a grassroots administrative entity.

In April, the first batch will be delivered.




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