For several years, the government’s viewpoint is that a motivated teacher is a good ‘recipe’ for quality education.
Over time, Rwanda government spared no effort to improve teacher’s welfare, including through constant salary increament and several additional incentives.
Of recent- August 2022, the government injected Rwf 5 Billion in the teachers saving and credit cooperative, commonly known as Umwarimu SACCO.
This boost followed salary increment by 88%, and 40% for Primary and Secondary school teachers respectively.
According to Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB), the government grants 300 in-service teachers bursaries every year.
“For the last three years, we have been increasing the teacher’s salary by 10% annually and it will continue so that our teachers can continue getting a decent earning,” Leon Mugenzi, the Head of Teacher Development, Management, Career Guidance and Counselling Department at REB said.
He added that the government will continue with the progressive increase of teachers’ salaries such that the longer the teacher serves, the more the salary they will get, as a way of encouraging retention.
When it comes to health, teachers have been provided with health insurance scheme that is provided by the Rwanda Social Security Board(RSSB) initially known as la Rwandaise d’Assurance Maladie(RAMA) medical insurance which allows their families to access health services and spares them from the worry of needing much money in such emergencies.
“When teacher’s livelihood gets better, it translates into improvement of quality of education because they work without worrying about the living condition,” Appolinarie Uwizeye, a teacher at GS Nyamata Catholique said.
On top of this financial boost, since last year the government established scholarships to facilitate primary and secondary school teachers for further studies.
In this arrangement, primary school teachers who graduated from Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) teach for three years to qualify for the scholarship for Bachelor’s degree at University of Rwanda (UR)’s college of education.
For secondary school teachers who graduated with bachelor’s degrees from various universities, they teach are required to teach for five years to qualify for Master’s scholarship.
Meanwhile, outstanding teachers are given laptops and tablets, which boosts delivery.
Moreover, in-service teachers are trained through Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programmes, for at least three hours per week to increase skills in pedagogy and English proficiency. So far, more than 20,000 teachers have been trained in the CPD programme.
With all the strides made, Mugenzi said there are still challenges causing friction in the improvement of teachers’ welfare, such as the capacity building cost.
p“There is a very big cost to organize Continuous Professional Development for all teachers. We are mobilizing funds and support from our development partners but the funds are not yet proportional to the need and the speed the CPDs require,” he added.