The World Teachers Day was celebrated yesterday at Nyamirambo Regional Stadium, Kigali, with calls for improved welfare, quality education and discipline among the students taking centre stage.
The Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza who presided over the function encouraged the teachers to always strive for excellence by providing quality education.
He asked them to be exemplary in their daily activities and to exhibit total discipline, saying this would shape their students into responsible citizens.
“Education is the foundation of any kind of development, it’s in this regard that I advise you as teachers to always play a key role in the national socio-economic development,” Makuza said.
The Minister of Education Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, challenged teachers to always sensitise students against vices like drug abuse, pre-marital sex and to fight against gender-based violence in schools.
Pie Nizeyimana, a teacher at Groupe Scolaire Rubirizi in Kicukiro District, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said that salary increment would motivate teachers, and ultimately promote the quality of education in the country.
“Teachers’ welfare at all levels has significantly improved but we also want government to increase our salaries because we are currently underpaid compared to other civil servants,” Nizeyimana said.
He added that low salaries were forcing teachers to leave the profession in search of greener pastures.
Nizeyimana further requested that the credit limit of Rwf4m be increased.
Members of Umwalimu Sacco, a teachers’ savings cooperative, are unable to borrow loans above Rwf 4m without security of either a house or land, which he said, most teachers don’t have.
“Government should also come up with a programme of One Laptop per Teacher... this will help us to easily carry out our daily duties and conduct more research on how best we can improve our career,” Nizeyimana added.
The Prime Minister told the teachers that the government will look into the challenges they face and come up with sustainable measures to resolve them.
During the event, three teachers from each district were each awarded a laptop for their outstanding performances.