By David Himbara
Overcrowded schools are a fact of life in Rwanda. Nearly all classrooms in primary schools are used by two shifts of students. Class sizes in primary schools often exceed 65 students – in extreme cases, classrooms exceed 100 students. Toilets are equally overcrowded. That is the context of the US$200 million World Bank loan acquired by General Paul Kagame’s regime in 2019 for improving basic education. The lion share of US$126 million was to finance the building of 14,860 latrines and 11,000 classrooms. Fast forward to June 2020 – delays in the transfer of funds to the districts, late delivery of construction materials, and lack of supervision stalled the US$200 million project.
In 2019, General Paul Kagame’s regime received a US$200 million World Bank loan to improve basic education, of which US$126 million would finance the construction of 14,680 latrines and 11,000 classrooms. The regime committed its own budget to construct an equal number of classrooms and latrines. Put another way, 20,000 classrooms and 29,360 latrines would be built across Rwanda. Bad news. The Auditor-General indicates that “the field visit conducted on the construction sites in various districts revealed delays in the construction of classrooms and latrines. The delays were up to 239 days.” As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink. Stay tuned.