Rwanda: Government Recruits Over 10,000 New Teachers

(file photo).
12 January 2021

A total 10,864 teachers for both primary and secondary schools who were this week hired without degrees in education has been offered a one-year contract.

This is according to the Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Gaspard Twagirayezu.

Twagirayezu explained that during the provisional one-year employment, the teachers will be required to complete a mandatory pedagogical course in order to qualify for a permanent contract.

The development follows a recent decision by the government to scrap off teacher entry exams in order to address the shortage of teachers in schools.

Statistics from the Ministry of Education indicate that a total of 17,433 teachers were hired this week.

Among them, only 2433 are for the Secondary level while the rest (15,000) will serve in Primary schools.

However, of the 15000 primary school teachers, 10,630 don't have degrees in education and so are other 234 secondary school teachers.

"A teacher is technically supposed to have a degree in education. That's why we give preference to those who studied education."

He added; "But then there is a group of teachers who didn't do education. It would be unfair for them to work under the same conditions with their counterparts and that's why we came up with a program that will seek to boost their pedagogical skills."

According to Twagirayezu, teachers who don't possess degrees in education have the task to practice the methodology aspect of delivering lessons.

"Under this course, they are given a chance to prove their skills and performance. We acknowledge that we need them, but there is also a requirement they need to meet. At the end of the year, those who will not have completed the course will be disqualified," he added.

In J 2020, the Rwanda Education Board (REB) announced that a shortage of qualified teachers has forced the government to continue hiring degree holders who did not necessarily study education.

The debate on whether to retain non-qualified teachers has been ongoing since around 2016, with many voicing out backlash against the directive.

Initially, the plan was to phase out the teachers without proper qualifications, if the Government attained the minimum teachers load at all levels of education.

However, by October 2019, the Ministry issued an ultimatum that would see the unqualified teachers relieved of their duties by early 2020.

In July last year, the Ministry reconsidered the plan citing challenges in getting the number of teachers to fill the gaps.

Current gap

The Minister of Education, Valentine Uwamariya, announced last week during a press conference that over 20,000 teachers were currently needed to fill the gaps in schools.

She explained that the number was necessitated by the current construction project of 22,505 classrooms, citing that at least 80 per cent units had been completed.

eashimwe@newtimesrwanda.com

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