EDITORIAL: Decent education begins with happy teachers

Images of merry teachers that emblazoned yesterday’s front page said all. They had just received some good news. The government had just announced a bag of goodies the teachers would be taking home; they would each be facilitated to get computers.

Images of merry teachers that emblazoned yesterday’s front page said all. They had just received some good news.

The government had just announced a bag of goodies the teachers would be taking home; they would each be facilitated to get computers.

Over 50,000 teachers in many parts of the country had just completed a civic education course (Ingando) where they discussed the country’s challenges and the best way to meet them head on.

Since they carry a heavy load of responsibilities on their shoulders; molding a country’s future, it would be irresponsible if they were not facilitated to do their job.

In most developing countries, teachers occupy the bottom rung of the civil service pecking order. They are poorly paid and this ebbs away their enthusiasm.

Rwandan teachers are no different than their foreign counterparts, but they have an ace up their sleeves - Umwalimu Sacco, a teacher savings and credit cooperative.

Teachers are able to easily get loans to supplement their incomes, and so far over 70,000 have secured low interest loans to the tune of Rwf 45.8 billion and still counting.

It is this same Sacco that will help teachers easily acquire computers, a prerequisite at a time the country has embraced the “smart school” concept, where education goes into IT mode.

The traditional blackboard and chalk will be history, and in just a couple of years, education will be fully digital.

So, facilitating teachers with the necessary tools while improving their social conditions is just one side of the coin; the other lies squarely in the teachers’ laps; ensuring their students receive their full attention.

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