The Ministry of Education says the academic year for 2020/2021 will be different from the previous ones because more effort will be required from teachers to fully implement ‘remedial teaching’ to help weak students to catch-up with their colleagues who perform academically well.
The objective of ‘remedial teaching’ is to give additional time to help pupils who fall behind the rest of the class in the subjects.
The Minister of Education, Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, said on Tuesday that efforts to enforce remedial teaching in all public and government-aided schools will be put in place, following a huge number of students who recurrently perform poorly in the national examinations.
The remedial teaching plan involves evaluating, inspecting and giving special lessons to weak students, according to Uwamariya.
“This is a special time in each class, in the morning hours or evening, after classes, where one hour will be reserved for the weak students. Teachers will be asked to use the time to help weak students to catch up with their colleagues. We don’t want any students to be left behind academically,” Dr. Uwamariya said.
“After general class time, all the students who need support will be remaining behind for the remedial lessons. Headteachers, and all the education authorities are supposed to inspect this program and implement it,” she added.
Dr. Uwamariya said this will be a daily program where a teacher is supposed to know the number of struggling students in the class and help them accordingly, adding that it is a countrywide program which is not optional.
She added that this year like the previous ones, registered poor academic performance, but the difference is that students who failed in this year’s national exams and the following years will not be promoted because the automatic promotion was stopped.
Yesterday, the Ministry of education announced that 44,176 candidates who sat the National Examinations for 2021 failed and will not be promoted, among them 21,743 were girls and 22,433 were boys. The general fail rate in the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) stands at 17.50%.
In the Ordinary level, 16,466 failed after they grouped in the ‘unclassified Division’. The general fail rate in Ordinary level is 13.60%. Among them, 9,727 are girls and 6,739 are boys.
“What we want is to recorrect huge number of failures, it must stop from here,” Dr. Uwamariya said.
Dr. Uwamariya made the observation during the International Teacher’s Day celebrations held at the Kigali Convention Center on Tuesday 5.
To mark the day, teachers across the country joined the world physically and virtually to celebrate their day, themed ‘Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery.’
The theme that recognizes teachers for their tireless efforts to keep teaching even during hardships including COVID-19 Pandemic.
The International Teachers’ Day is an annual worldwide event held on 5th October since 1994. In Rwanda, the day started to be celebrated in 2002. This Year, it was celebrated for the 20th time.
To mark the day, the best performing teachers in Primary, Secondary and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), both public and private were awarded by the government through the Ministry of Education and affiliated institutions.
Five teachers were awarded Motorcycles, Lenovo laptops, smart televisions and certificates that recognize them for their outstanding performances.
According to Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB), the best teachers nationally were selected depending on innovation in teaching students during the pandemic, protecting child rights, ability to help other teachers and development ideas in society, implementing economically developing projects which serve as examples for teachers.
REB says that awards aim to understand the role of teachers in the development of students and society in the country.
The national best teachers for 2021 included Jean Bosco Baudouin from Authentic International secondary School located in Kicukiro district, Kigali City, Christian Niyomugabo from GS Kabasare, Kamonyi district, Southern province, Bertin Masengesho, from Authentic International School and Obed Ruzibiza from ES Muhanga, Southern province.
From the TVET school, Jean Jack Nsanzamahoro from the Nyanza TVET school, Kigali City.
This Year, the Teachers’ Day was not celebrated as usual due to COVID-19, a few teachers were invited to represent others in the celebrations at the Kigali Convention Center.
Thousands of New Teachers to be recruited
According to the Ministry of education 11,942 primary and secondary teachers will be recruited in the new academic year for 2021/22 to close the gap between student-teacher ratio.
For the TVET schools, about 1062 will also be hired.
“The government will recruit more teachers this coming academic year to make sure that quality education is given attention. We have built classrooms, they will need students and teachers,” Dr. Uwamariya said.
Currently, the student-teacher ratio stands at 59:1 in Primary and 29:1 in Secondary or 46:1 on average in both levels, according to the Ministry of education available reports.