World Bank pledges $200m to Rwanda’s education sector

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente (L) shakes hands with Hafez Ghanem, the Vice President of World Bank for Africa at his office in Kimihurura. (Courtesy)

The World Bank and the Government of Rwanda are to soon embark on a $200 million (Rwf180bn) project which is expected to advance the quality of education through a wide range of interventions including constructing more classrooms.

The development was disclosed on Thursday as Hafez Ghanem, the Vice President of World Bank for Africa met Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente at the latter’s office in Kimihurura.

The money will consist of loan on which 0.7 percent interest rate will be charged per annum, The New Times has learnt.  

Ghanem observed that; “our objective is to have this programme finalized, approved and signed and agreed sometime this summer, late July or early August. The project is expected to be implemented within three to five years.     

He said that the aim of the courtesy call was to discuss with the Prime Minister about this programme and the different projects that are in the pipeline to be financed by the global institutions.

“The Prime Minister stressed the importance of education for economic development, and for fighting poverty, and the need to build more schools to have more classrooms, to have the schools closer to the children, and we are now preparing the $200 million project to finance Rwanda’s vision for a better education system,” he said.

“We are currently discussing what the main areas that will be financed are. It’s clear that there is need for more schools, and more classrooms for existing schools. But there is also need to work on the curriculum, to make sure that teachers are there, [and] the quality of those teachers,” he said adding that the two parties would share more details once the project is finalized.

Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said the project will help enhance the quality of education.

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

According to him, this alone has a far-reaching impact on the quality of education because the teacher is able to follow up on the students on a daily basis.

The Ministry of Education was faced with lack of enough funding to build classrooms to eliminate double shifts, as for instance, the target was to build 3,112 classrooms to phase out double shift in Primary 4 in the coming financial year.

However, it said that it only got Rwf11 billion against Rwf28 billion needed, which could construct 1,150 classrooms (998 as single building and 152 as double storied building or G+1).

 

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