Rwanda: Govt to Distribute More Textbooks in Public Schools

30 September 2019

The Government is set to scale up supply of textbooks in public schools, Isaac Munyakazi, State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary education, said as he flagged off the distribution of 3.8 million Mathematics and English books.

The books, including toolkits for students and teaching staff, are aimed at improving the quality of education.

Munyakazi challenged the teachers to invest in hard work and effective use of the resources that have been given to them.

Supported by UK's Department for International Development to a tune of £6.8 million (Rwf7.7 billion), the scheme contributed to the purchase of copyrights and supported printing of 3.8 million books.

"With DFID's support, Rwanda has been able to procure 115 copyright for textbook titles and printed close to 4 million textbooks which are now being distributed to all public and government-aided primary schools," he noted.

Under the programme, the government is keen to provide a textbook to every learner for every subject.

"Do not deprive the students of their right to use the books. From the parents' perspective, these textbooks will show them what their children are learning and will learn. If a child has questions which parents cannot readily answer, they can refer to textbooks to help figure out the answer."

Jo Lomas, British High Commissioner to Rwanda, said the books supplied will make a difference in the learners' lives.

"We applaud REB's instructions to schools to issue the books directly into the hands of children, where they belong, and where they will help build good habits of independent study" Lomas said. "Until now, the average ratio of pupils to textbooks has been as low as six to one. Now there will be one book for every child. Distribution of books began in Kigali and will continue until all government schools nationwide have been supplied by May 2020"

Jacqueline Umurerwa, the Headteacher at Camp Kigali School, said the books being distributed are of high quality and engaging, adding they will enable teachers to deliver lessons that are activity-based, language-rich and stimulating.

"We hope children will be encouraged to read these and other books outside of lessons and at home. Given that double-shifting is still common in most schools, these books will extend the time that children can spend learning beyond school hours."

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