Two teachers in Nyaruguru District have expressed dissatisfaction with district officials transferring them to new schools without their consent.
The duo Marthe Mukamazimpaka and Laurien Kubwimana, teachers at Bigugu primary schools in Muganza Sector, Nyaruguru District say that their transfer to Tangabo Primary school was unlawful.
They say that they are not happy to have found themselves on the list of those who applied for a transfer without applying and yet others who apply don’t get reassigned.
Mukamazimpaka specifically says that she is angry because the decision was taken without considering her maternity status as an expectant mother who now has to move away from near home to a far distant school which will require her to make a one and half hour journey every day.
“I am at the weakest stage of the pregnancy and the midwives advised me not to travel long distances,” Mukamazimpaka said.
She claims that the root cause of this alleged unlawful transfer is because of personal differences with authorities at the school where she has other responsibilities and is also a mediator in the community.
Mukamazimpaka who has 14 years of experience in teaching says that she was appointed as the logistics (store) manager at Bigugu school and this has created grudges with the school head teacher Eugénie Mukansoro.
She alleged that the grudge manifested when Mukansoro asked her to destroy the paperwork that was involved in purchasing food (on credit) for their school, a request she denounced.
The two ladies allegedly had several follow-up battles and disagreements over food supplies and this allegedly led to Mukamazimpaka (among other 12 teachers) getting below-average marks in performance- an issue that was appealed and raised at the sector level but later resolved.
Besides Mukamazimpaka, the other teachers in the above fracas, say that they fear being the next victims to face similar consequences.
While Mukamazimpaka and Kubwimana are complaining about being transferred without consent, another teacher- Jean Marie Vianney Ngendakumana, who also teaches at Bigugu Primary School says that he has been applying for a transfer for three years, and has not yet received a response.
How Does it Work normally?
Legally a teacher transfer requires filling in some documents required for a teacher who wants to be transferred as stipulated by the Presidential Decree No. 064/01 of 16/03/ 2020 establishes a special statute governing teachers of kindergarten, primary, secondary vocational, and technical schools.
Articles 52 to 58 give the provisions and circumstances under which a teacher can be transferred. These include one Requesting for transfer, Transfer of a teacher in the interest of service, the Period of transfer of a teacher and teacher’s rights in a transfer, and a need for secondment.
For instance, article 53 states that teachers may apply in writing to the Mayor of the City of Kigali or the Mayor of the District, for transfer from one school to another without changing the grade of his or her category. This can only happen if they write an application letter to the Mayor, have 70% performance, and a declaration of conduct by the regulating agency and the Head Teacher in the school of origin.
Article 57 (on rights) states that a teacher who is transferred retains his or her right to the grading previously held depending on his or her professional experience and performance.
However, Art 55 describes the conditions that can happen without the teacher’s consent.
It states that a transfer of a teacher in the interest of service is in the interest of service; the Mayor of the City of Kigali or the Mayor of the District may transfer a teacher, without request, to another school located in the City of Kigali or the same District.
Expenses related to transport in case of a teacher’s transfer initiated by the employer are borne by the employer. The Minister in charge of education determines the amount and modalities for allocation of the fees.
Kigali Today spoke to the Head Teacher involved and she referred the reporter to the district officials saying that they are aware of the problem raised.
The Mayor of Nyaruguru District, Emmanuel Murwanashyaka, says that the relocation of Mukamazimpaka was done at the request of the UEBR Church, which also established the school where she teaches.
The mayor says that this was after the church wanted to calm the grudge between the two parties, one which had reached the courts of law and to a personal extent engaged in a verbal altercation-one which the teacher denies happened.
Murwanashyaka said that he would soon visit the school in question to follow up on this matter before it gets out of hand, especially that one-Mukamazimpaka was transferred without consent over failure to work with her head teacher.
Rwanda Education Board (REB)said that the process of teacher transfer is managed in a system and unless one is recognized in the teacher management system it can be fallacious to claim a transfer denial as alleged by some teachers.