Effective March 2019, all primary and secondary schools teachers will receive a 10% salary increment, according to a cabinet resolution approved last evening in a meeting chaired by President Kagame.
The increment is part of the ongoing ‘pay and retention’ policy for public servants to reduce salary disparity.
While increments have been implemented other sectors, the education sector had yet to experience such a massive overhaul.
The policy, dubbed ‘Rwanda Public Sector Pay and Retention Policy and Implementation Strategy’, seeks to address gaps in compensation and retention of public employees.
It also seeks to help government retain competent and well-motivated civil and public servants required to achieve its objectives.
For education in particular, the pay rise is also meant to motivate and facilitate teachers as a response to a derailing quality of education in the country.
However, teachers’ salaries have been a daunting burden for government due to it’s limited budgetary size that is slim and thus not enough to spare a reasonable slice on the national cake for the thousands of teachers employed.
According to statistics from the ministry of education, by 2017, there were about 94,000 staff in the sector.
Total number of learners registered in the Rwandan education system in 2017 was 3,637,856 with 93,970 staff and 13,153 schools.
Teachers alone for both primary and secondary school accounted for over 65% of the total number of staff.
Meanwhile, the number of staff has been decreasing, for example from 28,785 in 2016 to 28,389 in 2017 in secondary schools alone.
The proportion of male staff is almost double (69.7% in 2016 and 69.5% in 2017) than female staff (30.3% in 2016 and 30.3% in 2017) in secondary schools, thus increasing students per teacher ratio (36:1), which affects the quality of education.
Currently, a new recruited certificate holder teacher (A2 primary school teacher) earns Rwf44,000 per month (About $50).
A diploma holder (A1) Rwf90,000 (About $100), while a graduate (A0) earns Rwf120,000 (about $135).
The whole public sector employs approximately 104,000 people. Teachers alone cover over 50%.
Total government expenditure on wages and salaries is expected to rise to about Rwf508 billion in 2019/2020 from about Rwf487 billion in 2018/2019.
The education sector is likely to swallow about Rwf316 billion in 2019/2020 from Rwf298 billion in 2018/2019.
Meanwhile the cabinet made more and major approvals.
The education sector will begin administering Mandatory Standardized English Language Tests (SELT) for students and teaching staff at all levels of education excluding pre-primary and lower-primary.
A policy to improve Teacher Management (recruitment, retention, development and monitoring) was also endorsed, same as a Special Needs and Inclusive Education Policy and a Teaching Career Path Advancement.