Teachers who don't have pedagogical qualifications will have to get relevant training to meet the requirement of the new statutes for teachers, which came into effect this year with the main aim of raising the status and credibility of teachers.
That point will be reiterated today as Rwanda joins the world in celebrations of the 17th International Teachers' Day to be marked in Rwamagana District under the theme: "A Professional and Competent Teacher is a Foundation to Quality Education"
According to the Director General of the Rwanda Education Board, Irene Ndayambaje, the number of qualified teachers has been increasing over the years thanks to Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) and other pedagogical short courses at the University of Rwanda/ College of Education offering diploma or Bachelor's Degrees.
Although most teachers in Rwanda are well trained, there are still some who don't meet the requirements. Under a three year process (2017/19), unqualified ones are being facilitated to get adequate training to meet the requirements. All new recruitments will only take into account teachers with qualifications.
"Currently, we have over 63,000 teachers across the country and 98 per cent of them have qualifications. The remaining is only 20 per cent but our aim is to reach 100 per cent, which we intend to attain by 2020.
"For three years we gave a chance to all unqualified to take one-year in-service training to meet the requirement and, by the end of 2019, those who did not make use of the chance will be relieved of their duties," he said.
Ndayambaje added that the move is related to the fact that the teacher's quality is the most influential factor that determines student success.
"When students are taught by under-qualified or unqualified teachers, it limits their academic potential, however, highly qualified teachers are more likely to stimulate students' desire to learn and succeed," he said.
According to the Ministry of Education, at this year's Teachers' Day celebrations, best performing teachers will be awarded.
Isaac Munyakazi, the Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, said that having qualified teachers alone is not enough to meet desired outcomes. Teachers' welfare has been among government's priorities and this has been demonstrated by rolling out special statutes for teachers in nursery, primary and secondary education.
Thus, this year Teachers' Day will feature for the first time the advantages of the approved statute which include horizontal promotion, which happens after three years of a teacher's good performance score starting from 70 per cent, which leads to a higher level and a bonus of up to 5 per cent of their basic salary.
Munyakazi also said that other incentives include Umwalimu Sacco's special programme to help teachers upgrade their University studies and accomodation.