The Government has allocated Rwf13 billion to cater for the increase in public primary school teachers' pay by 10 percent in the 2020/2021 fiscal year which will begin on July 1, 2020, according to the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony.
MP Omar Munyaneza was speaking Monday during the Plenary Sitting of the Chamber of Deputies which voted the Law determining the State Finances for the 2020/2021 fiscal year.
"Since we seek quality education it is good that a teacher's welfare is adequately catered for. That is why their current salary will rise by 10 percent under the budget.... Rwf13 billion was earmarked to cater for that," he said.
A freshly recruited primary school teacher earns Rwf44,000 per month.
MPs had indicated that a teacher's salary was too small to afford for their basic needs and provide for their families, hence advocating the increase of their remuneration.
An estimate from the National Union of Teachers in Rwanda (SNER) suggested that Rwf150,000 was required for a teacher to meet their monthly basic needs including meals, transport, and accommodation.
Munyaneza said that in the budget appropriation, some funds were taken from some activities which are not considered urgent to finance priority areas.
He said that the increase in teachers' pay was made after MPs gave views on areas that should get more funding under the new budget, including teacher's remuneration.
MP Damien Nyabyenda commended the increment but called to the attention of the budget deficit currently faced by the teachers saving an credit cooperative Umwalimu SACCO, which he explained is part of the Rwf30 billion support that the Government pledged to provide to this teacher financial support institution within 10 years from its inception [in 2006].
"I think these [salary increment and Umwalimu SACCO support] are two important actions, but one cannot replace the other," Nyabyenda said.
Since 2018/2019, Munyaneza said that the Government explained that it realised Umwalimu SACCO had enough savings such that a teacher who needs a loan to run a development project could get it, and decided that a teacher receive 10 percent salary increase.
"The 10 percent rise in a teacher's remuneration is laudable as it can help them improve their living conditions," he said.
As of 2019, there were 42,062 teachers in public primary schools, according to figures shared by SNER.