By Erasme Rugemintwaza
Since the power of the RPF-Inkotanyi of Kagame, 27 years ago, the education system in Rwanda has lost its direction. The system does no longer know where it’s heading to so that that even a simple peasant can easily tell you that the quality of education in Rwanda is poor. And as to confirm his failure, Paul Kagame, in front of the Zimbabweans made an unexpected statement, de facto disqualifying the quality of his teachers.
The propagandists of the RPF-Inkotanyi regime, pride themselves on having worked miracles, in several areas including education but in reality they are only hackles. A simple analysis can easily be misled by the striking numbers of infrastructures in this area of education and conclude that Rwanda has reached the satisfactory level. But what glitters are not always gold! Admittedly, number of schools and universities is dazzling but beside that, since the accession of the RPF-Inkotanyi to power, year by year, critics have never ceased to say that Rwandan education was losing its quality. Very simple but noteworthy examples are numerous to illustrate this collaps of Rwandan education into mediocrity. The so-called 12-year-old basic education schools (12YBE) are poor quality centers. Children go there, not to seek knowledge, but to escape the sanctions reserved for families who do not send children in school. Once during the national exams, all the students who finished the 3rd year of secondary school of these 12YBE, the ordinary level, failed. The Government quickly rigged the results to hide this shame. Recently the recruitment of teachers at both primary and secondary levels organized by the Ministry of Education for the year 2020-2021, revealed that the education system is more than mediocre. Because only 20% of candidates passed the exams. The Rwandan Ministry of Education then resolved to hire even those who did not pass the recruitment exams! All of this, is the result due to a pernicious policy of “automatic promotion” preached by the Kagame regime. This policy stipulates that any student must be promoted to the next class regardless of their grade, without considering failures. Students who have 45% are automatically promoted. The result of this policy is to find students at the end of secondary education, who do not even know how to write. Asking them to write a short job application letter is a sea to drink! How then to ask a person who has spent all his secondary education without ever having at least 50%, and who has completed this formation in one of these innumerable universities who instead of asking students to succeed require teachers to give free points, to pass a recruitment exam where the pass is 70%?
The 12-year-old basic education is an education reserved for the mass of the population; alongside the schools of excellence do exist in Rwanda, more than 95% are private and reserved for the children of the wealthy people in power, because they are very expensive. The 12YBE is dedicated to the mass without any target of competitive knowledge in the labor market but it created a quite simply willingly and helpful slavery reserve, a youth ready to do anything under false promises, because they feel that they have studied all the same. But alongside schools for the masses, there are schools of excellence, often with foreign programs. These schools are reserved for children of the Rwandan aristocracy. In Kigali, schools like La Colombière, Green Hills, Riviera etc. are reserved schools. The big universities that are setting up in Rwanda are there to signal to mass universities like the ULK and INES that their time is over; they are there to form the Rwandan aristocracy. Some say that the opening of these great global universities in Rwanda, after this mediocrity of Rwandan Education is an ill omen, because in the near future there are degrees which will no longer be accepted for some jobs, because they are from Rwandan schools. This is the essence of the aristocracy. This disqualification of Rwandan education, which nevertheless results from a bad education policy desired by Kagame, will have serious repercussions and dishonor the most modest and ignored public servant: the teacher. For without shame Paul Kagame disqualifies the fruits of his education policy and seems to say that he no longer wants Rwandan teachers because they are not fit to teach. While the start of the school year is set for October 11, 2021 and World Teacher’s Day took place on October 05, 2021 with endless grievances that have never been resolved, especially that of the teacher’s salary, which is still derisory, Kagame compliments for the last year that has lasted too long, with salary cuts for private schools, are only threats of disqualification and replacements of teachers.
It was in his addresse to a delegation of Zimbabweans led by Foreign Minister Fredric Shava and the teachers’ unions, that Kagame said: “I heard the presentations made to us, very important things we can do together, what each country offers so on and so forth. I want to emphasize one thing. I think there is a deputy CEO of RDB (Rwanda Development Board) who mentioned in passing what Zimbabwe can offer in the area of education. He talked about equipment or something. Before equipment, I want people,” said Kagame amid applause from the audience, adding that “I think Zimbabwe can offer us good teachers. So please work on that as a sense of urgency … You can find whatever number you find of quality teachers. I think we can absorb.”
Note that Zimbabwe’s education is highly valued around the world, according to Africa Check surveys and even UNESCO reports. It is not possible to look for what you already have and for an exorbitant price! This to underline that there is a big need of qualified teachers in the country to accept the wages for Zimbabwean teachers. Because more surprisingly, the average teacher in Zimbabwe receives a wad of greenbacks of 580 US dollars per month, that is to say, around 580 thousand Rwandan francs, which is more than three times the salary that the Rwandan teacher with the same of bachelor’s degree receives, the sum of 180 thousand Rwandan francs net. Rwandan teachers must then prepare for a new school year full of unpleasant surprises. They were disqualified by someone who made the policy for their education, and can anytime be replaced by Zimbabweans highly appreciated by Kagame at their expense.
To some of these noble teachers, we bid farewell!