Over 3,000 new classrooms to be constructed

A teacher conducts a lesson in one of Nyamasheke primary school. Emmanuel Kwizera

The government plans to spend Rwf12 billion on construction of new primary and secondary school classrooms, latrines and washrooms among other school facilities.

Speaking to The New Times, Rose Baguma, the Director General of Education and Planning in the Ministry of Education, said that the move comes after the Ministry of Finance increased the budget for the education sector.

The funding is expected to decongest schools and significantly reduce the distance that the students, especially in rural Rwanda, travel to school.

Under the plan, the Government will construct 1,100 classrooms and over 1,000 toilets, increasing the ability of students and teachers to access school facilities.

Pupils going to school in Nyamasheke District. Emmanuel Kwizera

“This is part of the Government’s campaign to uplift academic standards all over the country. This will ensure that no student travels more than 2km looking for a school,” she said.

As the budget for education continues to increase, the Government has also been able to build new school facilities.

In the 2016/2017 fiscal year, some 416 classrooms and 470 latrines were constructed. The number rose to 1,043 classrooms and 1,344 latrines in the following year before further rising to 1776 classrooms and 1452 latrines in 2018/2019.

Baguma also disclosed that that the World Bank has committed $200 million to the education sector this year.

Part of the World Bank funding is projected to add some 27,000 extra new classrooms and 3,600 toilets, and therefore bringing the total number of new classrooms to 3,800.

Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, earlier told The New Times that the funding will help enhance quality of education

“About 70 per cent of the project will go towards school infrastructure such as increasing the number of classrooms, equipping them and reducing the number of students so as to decongest classrooms,” he said.

Ndagijimana says that this has a far-reaching impact on the quality of education because teachers will be able to easily follow up on students on a daily basis.