Rwanda: Employment discrimination in Education

By Arnold Gakuba

The problem of discrimination in various institutions in Rwanda moves to another level. Currently, this problem has taken root in education where some thought that discrimination in education was impossible for certain reasons including the fact that this sector was one of the lowest paying in the country. Education experts proved that education is the backbone of development. So, they thought that discrimination would destroy education forgetting that the RPF regime does not care about the quality of education.

To everyone who reads this article to ask, “Where does the discrimination we are talking about come from? Is it based on what?” The journalist from The Rwandan had an interview, this Wednesday March 3, 2021 with one of the teachers who sat for the employment exam – he did not want us to mention his name for security purpose- and gave us a summary of discrimination in granting employment in public education in the present days in Rwanda. We recall that the teachers’ selection exams for public schools in Rwanda were reserved for districts but it was entrusted to the National Council of Education (NCE) with the aim of eliminating discrimination and bribery in granting employment; what is far from being the truth. 

The teacher who had interview The Rwandan is very experienced in secondary teaching and holds the first university level (Diploma) (we also refrain from mentioning his field of study for the sake of his safety). He told The Rwandan that he succeeded the employment exam with over 90% of results as it is mentioned on the lists he sent to us showing the mention (Pass). However, him and his colleagues sharing the same problem waited to be appointed in schools in vain. 

After being informed that the others with whom they sit the same exams together are already in their work, they went to the Rwanda Education Council (REC), convinced that they had obtained good results as it was posted, to know when they would join the schools to which they were assigned. These teachers were told that they were not among those who were supposed to be employed even if they passed the exams. The explanation given to them after several days of complaints was that they should not be employed because they do not have academic documents issued by educational institutions in Rwanda. They have been told that this was done within the framework of economic protectionism. “You went to develop the economies of other countries,” they were told.

The Rwandan newspaper wanted to know the reality of this problem. The teacher who was interviewed by The Rwandan revealed that those who have been discriminated against are those who have studied at higher institutions and universities in Uganda. The journalist worried about many of Rwandans who studied in Uganda. However, he was been revealed that those who were employed before 2019 are not affected by this decision. In addition, those who have been sent by the Rwandan government to study in other countries are not also affected. What discrimination in employment!

It should be noted that it was in 2019 that political relations between Rwanda and Uganda fell apart; the borders were closed and Rwandans were not allowed free movement from Rwanda to Uganda until the arrival of the Covid-19. Uganda has always shown the will to reopen, but Rwanda has not. Could the failure to employ Rwandans who hold academic documents issued by academic institutions from Uganda be linked to poor diplomatic relations between Rwanda and Uganda? What is worse is that those teachers who are not entitled to jobs are also not entitled to move to Rwanda’s neighboring countries in search of survival. How will they survive in this country where poverty is increasing day to day?

In reality, this category of Rwandans who studied in Uganda lives in poverty, hunger, persecution and other kinds of violence. It should be noted that these people did their best to increase their level of education so that they could improve their standard of living. And now, the government in Kigali, led by Paul Kagame, is driving a wedge for them through discrimination in employment in the public education sector, which discrimination can extend to private schools. What next?