It has been all smiles across Rwanda following a cabinet meeting held on January 28. Government announced that effective March 2019, all teachers in public and government-aided schools will get 10 percent pay rise.
With nearly 50,000 teachers at primary and secondary level on government payroll, our estimates suggest that the increment will add at least Rwf730m to the Education Ministry monthly expenditure.
According to the Prime Minister’s Order modifying and complementing the Prime Minister’s Order No 53/03 of 14/07/2012 establishing salaries and fringe benefits of civil servants, a primary school teacher with A2 qualification is paid Rwf59,125 Rwf monthly gross salary.
Starting this March the same teacher will earn Rwf 65,037.5.
There are 12,329 teachers in public schools and 26,988 is government-aided primary schools, according to Rwanda Education Board (REB) statistics. Together, the government pays a total of 39,317 teachers at primary level.
When the pay rise is effected, government will add some Rwf 232,461,762 to the current monthly expenditure of Rwf 2,324,617,625.
As for secondary level, government pays salaries of 8,482 teachers in Public secondary schools, and 15,251 from government-aided schools – all of whom are eligible for the 10 percent.
There are 23,733 secondary school teachers each earning 212,504RWF gross monthly salary. In March, there will be a top up of Rwf 21,250.4Rwf – allowing the teacher to see Rwf 233,754.4RWF on their payroll.
For every month, the education ministry will incur an additional Rwf 504,335,743.2 on the institution’s secondary teacher salary budget.
10% good for long term
Teachers have sought pay rise for some time. The latest review prompted muted excitement. Teachers have been calling on local radio stations expressing their feelings. In our interviews, they see the rise from a surprising perspective.
“The 10% will not change my existing daily living standards now, but will improve my credit rating with Mwalimu SACCO,” said Mudaheranwa Bosco, from a Kigali secondary school, referring to the teacher saving and credit cooperative bank.
“I will be able to get a much bigger loan and pension when I retire.”
Nkunda Ernest from Gitega Primary school also expressed the same sentiment, adding, “the 10% our government has given us now is an indication that they have been thinking about us. I believe more will come.”
Amid the optimism however, some teachers said the issue of delayed payments should be handled. The Chronicles found that the delay of salaries is not in all schools – suggesting some head teachers could be hoarding staff salaries.
Some teachers also told The Chronicles that since the government announced the increment, their landlords have notified them there will be increase on house rent.
Meanwhile, recently, the Teachers Union in Rwanda published a report in which it said a primary teacher needs at least Rwf 150.000 monthly. From this amount, they can buy 25kg of rice going Rwf 25,000, 20kg of beans, at least 4 liters of oil, cover a minimum house rent of 20.000frw of rent – as well as cover daily expenses and take care of other family needs.