The New Times (Kigali)

29 May 2009

Rwanda: School Dropout Rate Alarming

Kigali — The Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) has announced that the rates at which students drop out of schools are still alarming and subsequently declared intentions of reducing the trend by at least two percent by the end of the next financial year.

The targeted net enrolment is 97.8 percent from where it currently stands at 95.8, while the dropout stands at a stunning 13.9 percent according to statistics obtained by The New Times from the Ministry.

MINEDUC has put in place strategies to reduce the trend to 11.9 next year and by 2016, all children who start school will stand a chance of completing their education.

Dr Mathias Harebamungu, the Permanent secretary of MINEDUC stressed the need to empower teachers in order to enhance delivery and embark on the quick adoption of the now compulsory Nine Year Basic Education Programme.

"For now we are talking about reducing the dropout rates but the long term strategy is stopping it completely. Each child should at least be able to attend the first nine basic years of education," Harebamungu said yesterday.

A statement obtained from the MINEDUC indicates that over 8,000 classrooms are set to be built to accommodate and facilitate students to continue school after primary while a total of 6,629 new teachers will be recruited.

"At last 60 nursery schools and child education centres will be built with each district across the country having two," reads the statement in part.

Harebamungu called for tough measures against parents who deliberately stop their children from accessing education and condemned those who still harbour the Genocide Ideology and consequently transmit it to the young generation.

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