Government outlines reforms to improve teacher training colleges

Government aims to support graduates from TTCs to attain university education. Sam Ngendahimana.

Best performing students from Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) will be given scholarships to pursue Bachelor’s degree after  two years of teaching in primary schools.

This is one of the proposals being mooted by the Ministry of Education as it seeks to scale up the number of Rwandans enrolling in TTCs and attract more people to pursue a career in teaching.

Isaac Munyakazi, the State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, revealed this on Tuesday during a session with senators where he briefed them on government activities and the implemention of the competency-based curriculum.

The minister said that facilitating Teacher College graduates to obtain Bachelor’s degrees was one of the strategies to attract and retain the best brains to support the education sector, which is struggling with poor remuneration and high labour turnover among other challenges. 

“TTC graduates have been faced with the challenge of being unable to advance their studies,” he said.

Fixing the gaps

Senator Narcisse Musabeyezu said some TTC produce poorly trained teachers because some of them don’t have laboratories and yet they teach science subjects.

“Instead of having half-baked teachers, why can’t we think about an arrangement whereby students who are going to pursue sciences enrol in TTCs, which have laboratories and arts students in TTCs which don’t have laboratories?. That will help us produce competent teachers,” Musabeyezu said.

TTCs should also be given competent teachers who are fluent in English to address the challenge of poor language proficiency among educationists, he added.

Recently, the ministry conducted an inspection into the capacity of the 16 TTCs in the country.

The exercise, which was concluded last week, revealed some gaps in the TTCs such as poor infrastructure characterised by lack of laboratories and school demonstration centres which limits students from engaging more in practical education.

The ministry is preparing a policy paper which will inform its interventions in terms of planning and budgeting, the minister said.

“Even in terms of budget, you realise that a minor portion was being allocated to TTCs,” he asserted.

Munyakazi said that the Government wants to increase the number of students enrolling in TTCs.

“We want to make sure that students who enrol in TTCs are not those who have failed. We will accompany them such so they feel they have government support and when they graduate they will give us the results we want,” Munyakazi said.

For teachers, the state minister said, “We are going to give them the special training they need because we have identified the gaps.”

“We do not want to dismiss them because we know their performance and gaps they have. But, in the future, you advised us that we will take on the best teachers to train those who will teach our children. That is true, that is a good point that we will take as a recommendation that we will include in the vision we have to reinforce TTCs to be able to deliver the desired result,” he told senators.

According to the 2017 UNESCO data, the 16 TTCs across the country have an annual intake of approximately 4000 pre-service teachers.