January 28, 2021

Group of Teachers Petition Parliament Over Questionable Recruitment Process

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A teacher attends to children at a local school. The petitioners to Parliament say they need redress

A group of people with university qualifications for education have written to Parliament seeking for review of process that led to recruitment of 24,600 new teachers.

The Rwanda Education Board (REB), the education ministry agency that has until recently been handling the process, announced January 11 that it had completed allocation of new teachers to primary and secondary schools.

The recruitments were meant to plug the whole of teachers partly needed after the construction of more than 22,000 new classrooms countrywide ahead of start of school this January. With new classes, it meant there were more student rooms that needed teachers.

However, a group of five (5) people who say they possess university qualifications for education claim they identified serious anomalies with the process used to select those new teachers, as well specific cases of those included yet do not meet the set requirements.

In their letter, they say during the advertisement of the recruitment, REB had indicated that qualified teachers already on the education ministry “waiting list” would get first priority.

But then, they wonder how they themselves who were already in the database were left out, and instead new candidates considered. They say they have individual examples of such cases.

The disgruntled group also claims there are recruited teachers who had less marks on the qualification transcripts compared to some of them (petitioners), but they still qualified for inclusion in the recruitment.

The other issue they affected group raises is that there are recruited teachers who were allocated exorbitant marks which they did not have. For example, there is a teacher who is recorded as having obtained 98% marks “yet not such mark has ever been attained world over”, says the complaining lot.

The team also says among the newly recruited teachers includes teachers who do not possess the required qualification in education, yet they themselves who are petitioning Parliament do have university degrees in education.

In a submission to a joint session of Parliament on December 1 last year, Prime Minister Dr Edouard Ngirente announced that part of the policy options government had adopted to deal with low quality of education, is to add more teachers.

As a result, government would hire an additional 28,748 teachers to add on the 64,480 in place before. He said the recruitments were ongoing, referring to the REB process.

The Prime Minister also announced a raft of incentives which government had introduced, and that more were in the works, to encourage people to take up teaching as a profession even up to PhD.

However, in their petition letter to Parliament, the disgruntled group highlighted above, say they have lost confidence that their case will ever be solved since they have also written to President Paul Kagame’s office but their issue remains.

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