Education in Rwanda
Rwanda education is mostly under the direct governance of the government of Rwanda which looks into the education of Rwanda along with the Rwandan ministry of education.
Rwanda education could not see the light of development until very recently because the country was torn apart with civil wars and other issues like genocide and AIDS which have plagued the country. However, Rwanda education has taken a different turn ever since the government of Rwanda has started taking active interest in the country’s educational development.
The government of Rwanda made primary and secondary education fee-free and encouraged the setting up of many such institutions throughout the country. This step on the part of the government has encouraged many students to enroll in these institutes and UNESCO has come forward to develop the situation further.
Higher education was also encouraged by the government when it set up the National University of Rwanda in 1963 and the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology was set up to encourage modern science and technology in the country.
The higher education segment is not yet fully developed in Rwanda and so the number of Rwanda universities are few, in fact, the 2 notable Rwanda universities are the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology and Universite Nationale du Rwanda or the National university of Rwanda. The National University of Rwanda is situated in Butare and is a government run university; while the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology is a special project of the Rwandan ministry of education and is situated in Kigali. Both these universities have contributed hugely in advancing the higher education sector of Rwanda and is acknowledged universally.
The census records of 2002/03 have shown the total student enrollment in the National University of Rwanda to be at 4550 while the teaching staff amounted to 251 and more than 300 visiting faculty. Census records of the same year have shown that student enrollment in the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology was 1200 and the total faculty was 130 with 15 visiting faculty. The Kigali Institute of Science and Technology was started with the determination to encourage the zeal for modern technology and science among the Rwandan youth so that they would be able to compete with students from other parts of the world. The National university of Rwanda was the result of undying efforts from the Rwandan government in 1963 to set up higher education institutions. Rwanda universities are showing marked improvement over the years.
The Kigali institute of Science and Technology was set up in 1997 by the Rwandan ministry of education and presently it offers regular Bachelors and Masters degree in Engineering. The National university of Rwanda, set up in 1963 and offers regular Bachelors degree in Arts and Humanities, Business and Social science, Engineering, Medicine and Health, Language and Cultural science and Science and Technology. The university provides masters degree in Medicine and Health, Business and social Science and Science and Technology. Rwanda universities are slowly developing into becoming quality higher education institutions in the continent.
Rwanda Primary Schools
The basic education of Rwanda consists of an approximate of 9 years out of which 3 years are spent by Rwandan students in the Rwanda primary schools. The educational structure that has been by the Rwandan government requires Rwandan students to spend the remaining 6 years of their basic education in secondary schools. According to government plans education in the Rwanda primary schools is fee-free since, basic educational institutions in Rwanda depend on government capitations. Current census records have shown that student enrollment in Rwanda primary schools are roughly at 110.2% within the age-group of 7 to 12 years. Census records of 2003 have shown that a total of 1,752,588 students have been enrolled in various Rwanda primary schools out of which 890,432 accounted for females and 862,156 were male students. There have been a hike of 8% in the total student enrollment in the Rwandan public schools in recent years.
The teaching staff in the Rwanda primary schools have also increased in recent years with an increase in university graduate in recent years. At present, the total number of female teachers teaching in the Rwanda primary schools are 49.8% while the male teaching staff comprises of 50.2%. The number of Rwanda private schools have increased by 59 in a span of 2 years with proper qualified teachers. Although, there is no adequate infrastructure to support primary education, certain Rwandan primary schools carry on their education in open premises and sometimes even in buildings which are not meant for the purpose of education.
Rwanda Secondary Schools
The education system in Rwanda has taken a huge leap in a span of 7 to 8 years which is highly reflected in the comparative census records of 1997/98 and 2002/03.
The change is most evident in the enrollment records of the Rwanda secondary schools where the a hike of 6% has been witnessed. Added to this the government of Rwanda along with the ministry of education are taking steps towards encouraging more students to enroll in the Rwanda secondary schools by making secondary education fee-free. These initiatives on the part of the government, have encouraged individual organizations to set-up numerous Rwanda secondary schools. The number of Rwanda secondary schools have in recent years increased from 405 to 504 over a span of 2 years.
Rwanda secondary schools have shown considerable rise in recent years because the government has contributed in the construction of 69 new public schools and 27 new government subsidized schools. However, a major area of concern of the Rwandan government is the unequal distribution of Rwanda secondary schools in the provinces of Rwanda. While the economically backward provinces have very less secondary schools, the number of schools in the more developed provinces are far greater. The issue which looms large over the Rwandan educational system is the issue of gender bias and the crisis is more pronounced in the Rwanda secondary schools. In these secondary schools there are about 90% male teachers while female teachers contribute to only 10%. In the case of student enrollment also, the number of girls are very less compared to the number of boy students in these secondary schools.