Brighten Up: Education in Rwanda
Posted on July 30 2013
Rwanda has certainly come a long ways since the 1994 genocide. There are breakthroughs in almost all facets of the small country in the heart of Africa. Take education for example -with the introduction of fee-free education the number of students enrolled in primary school has almost doubled from 1998 to 2009, reaching almost 2.2 million students. Along with this increase in student enrollment is the country’s literacy rate which was 58% in 1991 and is now 71.1%.
But with that said, Rwanda still has a long way to go. According to the 2010 Human Development Index report, Rwanda is ranked 152 out of 169 countries under the “Low Human Development” category. Although there were spikes in enrollment and in the population’s literacy race, the education level in Rwanda remains low. While citizens are expected to complete close to 10 years of schooling the average number of years that a Rwandan spends in school is 3.3 years; while the sub-Saharan average is about 4.5 years.
One of the reasons leading to a lack of educational retention is that about 40% of the teacher’s in Rwanda have less than 5 years of teaching experience. While the primary school teachers are 99% capable, their colleagues at the secondary schools are only 36% qualified. Rwanda’s inability to employ secondary school teachers leads to the schooling system to be unattractive, leading to many people deciding not to pursue an education. Also with the teachers feeling they are getting paid poorly, the incentive for further education is low with other jobs having higher benefits than becoming a teacher.
Rwanda needs to break this pattern. While Rwanda has taken strides in the right direction, Rwandans still have a long road to travel on the educational front. Help them along by purchasing Same Sky’s Hope Necklaces’ that provide a year’s worth of education for an artisan’s child. Or the purchase of 2 Sky bracelets can provide a Rwandan child with a school uniform for one year of education.