An Extraordinary Cabinet Meeting on Monday resolved to increase salaries for all teachers in primary and secondary teaching in both public and government-aided schools effective March this year.
The meeting was chaired by President Paul Kagame.
The increase was welcomed by several teachers saying that it comes after a long time advocacy by their union and that this brings hope among teachers for even better things to come.
Faustin Harelimana, the outgoing secretary-general of National Union of Teachers in Rwanda (SNER) said the union has been pushing for the pay rise that this was a relief for them.
“We have been pushing for the increase in teachers’ salary and we are grateful that government heard our outcry,” Harelimana said.
He added: “The increase may not be big but it gives hope to teachers and I believe this will have a positive impact on their lives and on education generally,” he added.
Edouard Mulindangabo, a teacher at GS Munyiginya in Rwamagana District said that the salary increase was good news but teachers still expect a lot from government in the future.
“It is a positive move because teachers actually earn very little compared to their counterparts in other fields of public service, the increase can slightly impact on our lives,” he said
According to the pay structure, teachers’ salaries vary depending on the level of education as well as experience.
“If a teacher earns Rwf50,000 per month that means the new salary will be Rwf55,000 which is still little if you look at basic needs and the current market prices,” he said.
It is not only teachers who have been advocating for salary increase.
In November last year, senators called on Government to review the remuneration of teachers to reflect the prevailing economic trends and address discrepancies in public sector wages.
Over the past years teachers have advocated for a minimum wage of at least Rwf80,000 saying they were financially constrained to afford even the basic needs of life.