Ministry of Education sheds light on school closures

The Ministry of Education has cleared up the confusion on whether this year was going to become a void year for students and the fate of teachers as they wait for school to reopen in September.

This came after the government, on May 1, announced that schools would reopen in September in a bid to fight the coronavirus pandemic during the cabinet meeting that was assessing Rwanda's progress in bringing COVID-19 to its knees.

 

Claudette Irere, Minister of State in the Ministry of education in charge of ICT and TVET Education, said that higher learning institutions would resume while primary and secondary students will start again this academic year.

 

“For some higher learning institutions, we know that some were left with a few months to finish their academic year, therefore, they will resume once schools reopen while for primary and secondary education, we took them home abruptly and with all this time they will have spent at home, the best thing to do is to start the year afresh,” she said.

 

The Minister also clarified that teachers will continue to get their monthly salaries.

“Teachers working for public schools will still be paid their monthly salaries because they will still be engaged in helping students on our various learning platforms and also get different trainings.”

“For teachers in private institutions, who were the most affected during this time, we encourage and will help the institution owners to seek help with the government fund allocated for the private sector.”

This help, she added, should mainly be used for the teachers’ welfare during this time and added that the government will closely follow up on use of the money.

However, on the questions regarding the refund of school fees, Irere said there will be no refund for this term’s school fees, as “the students had been taught and it’s a disaster that affected everyone,” adding that the guidelines won’t affect schools that follow an international teaching system.

According to the Minister of State, the time between now and September is going to be used to build more classrooms to have a convenient student-teacher ratio.

Rwanda has so far registered 249 cases of positive COVID 19 cases with 109 recoveries and no death.

In March 2020, when schools closed in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, higher learning institutions were almost at the end of their academic year whereas the primary and secondary institutions were almost coming to the end of the first term.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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