The Government of Rwanda is set to revisit the process of hiring teachers in Primary and Secondary schools by reintroducing the merit-based procedure where teachers are retained based on their qualifications, rather than considering results of the national recruitment exams.
Rwanda Education Board (REB) says the government is bringing back the teacher’s recruitment examination system regulated by teacher’s statute in the official Gazette n° 10 of 16/03/2020 during 2021/22 academic year, dropping the academic transcript results procedure, that was approved to hire new teachers last year.
In December last year, the Ministry of Education temporarily changed the teacher’s recruitment examination system, replacing it with academic transcript results procedure, as an alternative to hire many teachers to address the shortage.
Under the academic transcript results procedure, the best academic graduates were hired to join the teaching profession with a one-year trial contract.
“This coming academic year, we shall go back to teacher’s recruitment policy based on job examinations. Those who will pass job examinations will be recruited in the teaching profession,” Leon Mugenzi Ntawukuriryayo, Head of Teacher Development, Management, Career Guidance, and counseling development said.
Mugenzi said that they adopted the academic transcript results procedure to hire many teachers in a short period, but the government will return to the normal procedure guided by the teacher’s statute in the official Gazette n° 10 of 16/03/2020.
Mugenzi did not reveal the number of teachers the government targets to recruit in the new academic year for 2021/22.
He however said that revisiting the recruitment process will benefit more teachers who had been left out while also placement will be based on preferred location, as a way of helping teachers to minimize living costs.
He made the observation in EdTech Monday, an education program that aims at improving the local education system, which aired on KT Radio on 13 July 2021.
The initiative brings together education stakeholders, including the EdTech entrepreneurs, Education, and technology policymakers, and educates consumers to discuss how to improve education sector and learning.
The new teacher’s hiring system (academic transcript results procedure) came after huge numbers of teachers failed recruitment exams in the previous double mass recruitment examination exercises, affecting the government’s target to hire about 29, 000 teachers for the academic year 2020/2021.
According to the Ministry of Education, in December last year, only 2% of the teachers who sat for the recruitment exams passed, meaning 98% failed while 15% only passed during the latest exams conducted in July 2020.
This means that 85% of the candidates failed the latest recruitment exams. All the teachers who failed in the duo recruitment exams failed to attain the 70% pass mark required.
Speaking to the media in December last year, Minister of Education, Dr. Valentine Uwamariya said that the changes are expected to help the government quickly address the teacher deficit.
“Last year we had a gap of about 7000 teachers, we conducted the first recruitment exams and only 2% passed, in the second recruitment examination only 15% passed. We have now adjusted to the new system of recruiting teachers by considering their academic performances in their previous universities and colleges,” Dr. Uwamariya said.
She pointed out that they requested the Ministry of Public Service and Labour to change the recruitment system and the ministry agreed.
“That is why we asked for the academic transcript from the graduates willing to join the teaching profession. We have a gap of 18,000 teachers and they will be recruited using this new system,”
“This last batch of 18,000 teachers to be hired using their academic transcript results will not be hired permanently, they will be given a one-year contract, assessed and evaluated before they are recruited as permanent professionals.” Dr. Uwamariya said.
The mass recruitment targeted bridging the student-teacher ratio in the country.
The student-teacher ratio stands at 59:1 in Primary and 29:1 in Secondary or 46:1 on average in both levels.
About Teachers’ Examination recruitment policy
Initially, Teachers’ examination recruitment and the appointment are jointly done by the following institutions, the City of Kigali and the district, the Ministry in charge of education, and the Ministry in charge of public service, according to the teacher’s statute in the official Gazette n° 10 of 16/03/2020.
In the process of recruitment and appointment of teachers, the City of Kigali and the District have the following responsibilities including, making a list of all teaching positions and schools in the City of Kigali and the districts, which need to be provided with teachers and submit to the Ministry in charge of education the list of teaching positions that need to be provided with teachers.
Other responsibilities by the City of Kigali are to appoint the successful candidates in accordance with the placement list provided by the Ministry in charge of education and to ensure induction and mentorship for newly recruited teachers.
While the Ministry of Education is supposed to publish a list of all teaching positions available based on all teaching subjects in the nursery, primary, secondary, and TVET schools through the public service e-recruitment portal by MIFOTRA and to shortlist applicants who fulfill the portfolio requirements, among others.
According to the teacher’s statute, MIFOTRA is mandated to manage the process of recruitment and appointment of teachers through the public service e-recruitment portal and to maintain, for a period of twenty-four (24) months, a valid database of all successful candidates who are eligible for appointment and placement in case a vacant position is reported during that period.