Restitute Mutuyimana is a teacher at Higiro Primary school in Gisagara District of Southern Province. She was rewarded with a motorcycle and laptop as the best teacher in the province last week as the Rwanda celebrated World Teachers’ Day.
Across the country, 400 laptops were also provided to teachers. The laptops will be distributed every year.
Mutuyimana narrated how she managed to beat other teachers in the competition. The selection started in July this year at the school, sector, district, and province and country levels.
“I joined the teaching profession in 2006 while still in secondary school but because I had no university degree I was later transferred to Higiro Primary School. This is when, despite teaching, I started organising other activities related to education that impact our community,” she narrated.
Her sector extends up to the Burundi border, and Mutuyimana reveals that she used to observe how mothers were always busy with cross border trade leaving them little or no time to attend to their children. It is then that she decided to mobilise them to set up a nursery school at a nearby primary school.
“I only invested in mobilising the mothers and we found a teacher to help them. I also mobilised parents with children at Higiro Primary School where I teach, and I set up another nursery school after I got benches to use,” she said.
So far, she has already played role in setting up five nursery schools in the area.
“In terms of literacy programme among the adult people, I managed to bring together historically marginalised people and set up a literacy site for 35 of them where they learn how to read and write. So far, 12 of them have completed the programme and the rest will also graduate soon,” she said.
Mutuyimana who teaches Social and Religious Education in primary four, five and six. She is also a book writer with an international publisher.
“I also played a big role in classifying books in our library so that it becomes easy for pupils to use,” she said.
She also supports vulnerable pupils and has bought school uniforms for 64 pupils and food for pupils living with disabilities.
She secured a loan with Umwalimu SACCO and set up an income generating business to supplement her salary.
“By using the loan I received from Umwalimu SACCO, I managed to build my own house and I have another one for renting from which I generate income to support my family,” she said.
She also noted that she managed to reconcile 10 families in her village and grouped them in saving groups so that they develop themselves.
She is currently a member of Red Cross at sector and district level as a volunteer.