The Ministry of education says a new school and working hours that was decided in the cabinet meeting last month will take effect starting January 1, 2023.
The decision, reportedly based on “thorough research” by the education ministry, indicated that changing schooling and working hours will improve quality learning, but also productivity for employees.
Officially, Rwandan schools have been opening at 7.00 AM but on October 12, the cabinet pushed the opening of schools to 8.30AM and the closing hour, to 5.00PM from the current 4.30PM.
Public, government aided schools that follow national curriculum will follow the new time table where lessons will start at 8:30am and run through 5pm.
The morning break will last for 15 minutes, from 10:45am to 11:00am while the lunch will last for one hour and five minutes from 12:20 to 1:25.
The afternoon break will last for 15 minutes from 3:25pm to 3:40pm.
According to the communique, international schools will follow adjust the closing time with their programs, but they will also start courses at 8.30AM.
“We conducted research and found out that, in the region of East Africa, we started earlier. We also crossed the borders and researched schooling hours in Asia, and realized that when students start a bit later, they gain much academically,” Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of Education said while explaining the rationale behind adjusting school/working hours.
“Additionally, there are recommended hours that a child should sleep; for example, children below 12 years old should sleep between 9 to 11 hours, and adolescents should sleep between 8 to 10 hours. But, when you look at the number of hours that initially children slept it was fewer, below eight hours, which had impacted their academic performance,” Dr. Uwamariya added.