The government recognises the indispensable role teachers play in national development and will continue to support them through various programmes geared towards improving their welfare.
The Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi reaffirmed the commitment in Musanze yesterday while officiating at the closure of national itorero for teachers.
The weeklong training brought together over 54,000 teachers from nursery, primary, secondary, and TVET schools in the country.
It was organised by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the National Itorero Commission (NIC).
The Premier observed that teachers are a pillar of national development as all national leaders and others serving in various capacities even private institutions are products of teachers.
From nursery, primary, secondary up to higher institutions of learning, teachers are the people behind the gained skills, and efforts to support them should not be undermined, he said.
While there are programmes already in place to support teachers such as Umwarimu Saving and Credit Cooperative, Girinka programme, and
housing among others, the premier said that government will keep the momentum to ensure more support for teachers.
“If people passing in your hands are given quality education accompanied by national values and culture, they become good citizens, qualified teachers, medical doctors, lawyers, security officers among other professionals,” he said.
“The work of a teacher is so hard that there is no amount of reward worth its value. That is however the reason why the government supports and will continue supporting you through various programmes like SACCOs, Girinka and teachers housing to ensure you enjoy a better life like other citizens,” he said.
The government, he said so far has invested over Rwf16billion through Saccos since 2012 and the target is to invest total of a Rwf30billion to help more teachers secure development loans.
“We are ready to achieve the target, we also appreciate the fact that you have also embraced the culture of saving through Saccos . The savings are re-invested in other teachers as loans to improve their welfare,” he said.
He said that thanks to Saccos over 73,000 teachers secured loans worth Rwf45.8billion by 2016 at low interest rate of about 11percent.
Over Rwf13billion was saved by teachers, he said.
“For Saccos to keep supporting teachers in a sustainable way, I urge the ministry of Education and other line institutions to do their best to ensure cooperatives operate effectively and the money is well utilised to support teachers in their social economic development,” the Premier said.
Be smart teachers
The Premier said that unlike other public servants, teachers are leaders and should serve as role models whenever they are so that society can learn a lot from them.
He noted there is need to ensure teachers’ up skilling to provide a vibrant work force to help in achieving vision 2020 and the envisioned 2050 vision.
He also urged teachers to be more patriotic, fight genocide ideology and other vices that hinder national development.
“Use the knowledge you have to fight genocide ideology and other negative sentiments that can derail the current pace of national development. Fight any kind of discrimination wherever you are and offer quality education to Rwandan children,” Murekezi told the teachers.
Speciose Mukasine, one of the teachers who attended, said the training would help them provide quality education that combines Rwandan values and culture.
“We will use the acquired knowledge to provide quality education coupled with traditional culture and values which are particular and rich. We have been doing so but there is more we gained from here and we are going to share with the students and entire society,” she said.