The Ministry of Education has announced that the Primary School completion rate is at 76 percent, higher than the targeted 59 percent for the year 2010/11.
This was announced during a joint sector review meeting that brought together stakeholders in education.
The rate is weighed against the 2008 indicators where the completion rate was 53 percent.Speaking to The New Times, the Minister of Education, Dr. Charles Murigande said the Nine-Year Basic Education (9-YBE) was the main reason behind the tremendous increase.
“Assurance for continuing school has provided security for the pupils,” the Minister said. "Pupils used to drop out of school before completing primary school due to lack of surety that they would continue to secondary, but after the introduction of the 9-YBE, the completion rate has greatly increased," Murigande said.
The 9-YBE programme began in the 2009 academic year. Over 3,000 classrooms were built in 2010 to increase access to the programme, while 2, 936 have been constructed and fully equipped this year.
The Director General in the Ministry, Dr. Erasme Rwanamiza, said they were aiming at reaching a completion rate of 78 percent in the 2011/12 academic year.Other indicators that showed improvement in the sector included the primary completion rate for girls, which increased from 58 percent to 80 percent.
“Before 9-YBE was introduced, parents preferred sending boys to school. But due to surety of free education and schools being closer, they have no choice but to let the girls go to school,” the Minister said.
The transition from basic education to upper secondary increased from 88 percent in 2008 to 90 percent in the 2010/11. The pupil to qualified teacher ratio as well increased from 67:1 in 2008 to 63:1 this year.
However, the ministry highlighted some of the prevailing challenges as low levels of fluency in English by teachers, insufficient English science books and unqualified teachers in lower secondary schools.