The Ministry of Education(Mineduc) says the delay to pay newly recruited teachers resulted from mass recruitment and shortage of staff in charge of teachers’ affairs at district level. A fresh promise: the salaries will be paid next month without fail.
According to the Ministry of Education, several institutions including the Rwanda Education Board (REB) and National Union of Teachers (SNER) are working to make sure that the teachers’ salaries are availed in March this year, with their January and February arrears.
“The teacher’s recruitment for 2021 was unusual, the number was huge. In the previous years, we used to recruit about 3000 per academic year. This year, we have already hired over 24,000 teachers, out of 54.000 teachers that applied. This means huge work in selection of applicants who meet requirements, leave alone marking recruitment exams,” Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of Education said during KT Radio’s program dubbed Ubyumva ute on 24 Thursday 2021.
Dr. Uwamariya added that it is better to delay payments of salaries than doing the job in a hurry with several mistakes because it would be hard to bring back the money after it is released by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
“No one is happy to see an employee working those months without pay, it is a pity. Some lists were submitted by district officers with errors, because we have just one staff in charge at that level. The work is too much for them,” Dr. Uwamariya added.
She said that the process of paying teachers goes through several channels, but most importantly the Finance Ministry avoids releasing money before assuring beyond doubt that there is no mistake.
The delayed salaries for teachers who were recruited on 5th and 18 January was reported last month, with some teachers allegedly dodging classes to hunt for food and accommodation fees.
On 15 February 2021, Rwanda Education Board (REB) sent official letters to districts to facilitate teachers facing the crisis to get salary overdraft from Umwarimu Sacco before the government starts to avail their salaries.
Some teachers opposed REB’s initiative.
Imagine starting a job with loans. I asked for the job because I needed earnings, and someone is rather proposing a loan. This can’t help,” a teacher from Kamonyi district said.