The Prime Minister Dr Edouard Ngirente and his Education Minister Dr Eugene Mutimura must build all the required school classrooms in 2years, instead of the 5 years planned.
At the ongoing national dialogue Umushyikirano, the issue of overcrowding in schools and students in rural areas still walking long distances to school, arose again. In his response, Education Minister Dr Mutimura explained that a classroom construction project was underway, in that within 5 years, there will be no more concerns.
According to government data, there are over 2.5m pupils in primary schools. It shows that with over 29,300 classrooms currently, an average of 77 pupils find themselves squeezed in one class.
The worst affected district is Karongi district where, in February during his tour of the region, Prime Minister Dr Ngirente found some schools had over 120 pupils in a class.
Government wants at least to have less than 40 pupils per class, or reach the UN prescribed 35 students per class.
However, to have 2.5m not packed in classrooms and not having to move long distances, the Rwandan government had planned to construct an additional 42,176 classrooms across the country.
In his intervention during the umushyikirano discussion, President Kagame directed the Prime Minister to complete the classroom blocks within 2 years.
Let us ensure this issue does not come up for discussion again after two years, said Kagame.
The Head of State said there was already money from the World Bank for the project and therefore there is no reason it cant be completed in a much shorter period.
On August 1, the Government of Rwanda and the World Bank signed a $200 million financing agreement for primary and lower secondary education. It covers various areas including classrooms and reduce distances that students walk to school.
Now that over 42,000 classrooms must be up as a matter of urgency, it suggests 101 classrooms must be competed in each of the 416 sectors
It means, all sectors must build at least 4 classrooms every month for the next 24 months.
The two day national dialogue came to close Friday mid afternoon.