NYARUGENGE - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Rwanda Development Bank (BRD), have launched a support programme for private school education in Rwanda.
The three-year partnership programme follows the signing of a financing agreement between BRD and the Ministry of Education yesterday at Hotel de Mille Collines.
IFC, a member of the World Bank group, has invested up to Frw2.6 billion in a risk sharing facility with BRD enabling it to increase its education portfolio to Frw7 billion.
Théogene Turatsinze, the Director General of BRD, said that the Rwandan Private Schools Support Programme (RPSSP) seeks to provide an integrated package of finance and advisory services to private schools. He added that the programme comes as an answer to some of the major challenges still facing private schools.
According to the private education sector survey in all 311 private schools, lack of long term financing, deficiencies in management capacity, weak information systems and poor facilities were some of the challenges highlighted.
BRD has availed Frw1.5 billion guarantee funds to finance private schools development at low interest rates depending on the business proposal.
“However, the package will only be provided to qualifying private school operators to enable them expand teaching facilities and improve their management,” Turatsinze explained.
Ignace Rusenga, an IFC Senior Operations Officer, said the programme will begin to roll out with consultations with stakeholders in order to identify the needs of private education providers.
“This will help IFC and BRD design appropriate responses,” he said. Rusenga further said the advisory service component of the programme focuses on capacity building.
“IFC will offer advice to BRD on how to evaluate the new business proposals and also monitor performance of its portfolio in the education sector,” he added.
Qualified schools will be advised on how to strengthen their financial management and quality of education services. The Minister of Education, Daphrose Gahakwa, said the initiative was an important element in developing the education sector.
“The Government sees the role of private school providers as an important pillar towards the achievement of Vision 2020,” she noted.
Gahakwa also revealed that in order to encourage stronger private involvement in education services, the Government had put in place a strong regulation framework.