The management of Umwalimu SACCO, the teachers’ credit and savings cooperative, has announced an asset growth of 143.3% to Rwf7.3 billion in 2010, up from Rwf3 billion the previous year.
Last year alone, the teachers’ cooperative society gave out loans amounting to almost Rwf4 billion, nearly twice the total amount it issued in 2009. Individual members can now access loans of up to Rwf15 million, up from the previous Rwf3 million ceiling.
With the cooperative boasting up to 52,000 members countrywide – constituting about 95 percent of all teachers in both primary and secondary schools – it’s potential to drastically improve the teachers’ and their families’ welfare cannot be overemphasized.
Having acquired its operating license in 2008, it is encouraging to learn that the cooperative is already in a position to operate smoothly without any further external financing.
With a simple initial membership fee of Rwf10,000 and monthly savings of 5 percent of the net salary – which earns an annual interest of 4 percent – the scheme is one of the best things that have happened to the Rwandan teacher.
With the facilities offered by the Umwalimu Saccos, teachers can now enjoy various benefits, including owning homes and initiating income generating activities to supplement their pay.
Teachers should make the most of this scheme that will not only improve their welfare, but also help raise the quality of education.