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Education in Rwanda: Wikis


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Schoolchildren in Rwanda

History of Rwandan education


Prior to 1900

Education in Rwanda was informal and delivered largely through the family. Training was also delivered through amatorero (training schools). These courses included the military and war skills, iron smith and foundry, poetry, basket making, etc.

1900 to 1960

A Belgian census of 1933 led to the measurement and the classification of the population along racial and ethnic lines. Tutsis were given access to the best education at the prestigious Astrida Secondary School, and groomed for colonial administrative jobs, ethnic tensions grew as a result. Hutus were often used as forced labour and many migrated to surrounding countries. The tensions grew up until 1959 when civil war broke out and many Tutsis were killed. Others went into exile.

Ministry of Education

Education Minister Dr. Charles Murigande from 2009. He replaced Dr. Daphrosa Gahakwa who had replaced Dr. Mujawamariya Jeanne d'Arc in 2008.

Mission Statement

“To combat ignorance and illiteracy"

"To provide human resources useful for the socio-economic development of Rwanda through education and training

Education Finance

Education accounts for 15% of the national budget of which 9.5% is allotted to H.E.

In 2003 the state's total expenditure on education was 48 Billion Rwandan Francs (£48.6 million or $86m).

Between 1996 and 2001 total public spending rose from 3.2% to 5.5%. However much of this was chanelled in to Secondary and Tertiary education at the expense of Primary.

Standards in Education

The following bodies oversee educational standards

- Division of Construction and equipment

  • Sets standards for classroom/school construction.

- National Examination Council

  • Sets standards for grades and progression to the next stage of education.

- Department of planning

  • Sets and monitors standards on system performance indicators.

- General Inspectorate of education

  • Inspects and advises on standards adherence and compliance.

ICT in Education

The Rwandan government has formed a national strategy for information and communications technology ("ICT") aiming to link public institutions of higher education (and later, private institutions) via a RWEDNET network. There is also hope that this can be expanded to link secondary schools (and potentially, primary schools) together.

There is a shortage of ICT skills at the present time which limits ICT education to tertiary institutions and elite secondary schools.

Rwanda is a participant in the imfundo project (which means “education” in the Ndebele language), a partnership between several DFID, large high technology companies, and a number of developing countries. The aim of the project is to raise attainment through distance learning and professional development courses in ICT for teachers. There is hope that advancing the development of these skills will allow Rwanda's economy to grow into new and more profitable areas. This is limited, however, by weaknesses in infrastructure. Many areas lack phone lines, let alone computing facilities. In an effort to improve the situation, the government has been opening telecommunications centers where staff can receive ICT training.

This training is already paying dividends, with many students now being offered well paid (by local standards) part time work. Rwanda could attract business through the bilingual French and English skills many locals have.

Some students have been studying through the African Virtual University which is allowing students to learn online, while being taught by lecturers from other countries.

In October 2006, the NEPAD e-Africa Commission launched a project to further develop ICT in Rwandan schools. The project will link up schools across Africa, including primary and secondary levels, and is intended to grow; eventually it will incorporate all Rwandan secondary schools.

A lot of work in ICT education is being done by KIST (Kigali Institute of Science and Technology)[1] and the E-ICT Integrated Training Center [2]

Primary Schools

The language used for teaching in the first three years of primary education is Kinyarwanda. In the fourth through sixth years, this becomes English or French.

Statistics for the 2002-3 academic year:

  • 2172 schools
  • 1,636,563 pupils
  • 26,024 teachers (85.2% qualified)
  • gross 100.0
  • net 82.7%

Despite some major achievements in Rwanda's attempts to achieve universal primary education, it currently has one of the worst repetition rates in the sub-saharan region.

Secondary Schools

The teaching language is English or French.

statistics for 2005-6:

  • 405 schools
  • 179,153 pupils
  • 6,329 teachers (48.0% qualified)

secondary enrollment, 2000:

  • gross 10.2
  • net 6.0


  • gender ratio, 2002-3:

49,5% boys 50,5% girls

  • literacy rate in 2002:


Higher Education

There are twenty institutions of higher education in Rwanda, six of them public and fourteen private. The first university in Rwanda, the National University of Rwanda (NUR), was opened by the government in 1963, with 49 students. By the 1999-2000 academic year, this had risen to 4,550. In 1997-8 Rwanda had a total of 5,571 students enrolled in higher education. Today this stands at 26,796, 39% of them female.

Throughout the higher education system some 100 PhDs are held, the bulk of them at NUR. Areas of research include agriculture, livestock, and the training of farm managers. A system of 'universités du soir' (night school universities) has been established to widen access to university. However, there has been some debate over the quality of the courses offered.

Rwanda's higher education sector has some way to go in developing the internal efficiency. In 2000-1, final year students were graduating with a success rate of between 11 and 50%. Across all years, this success rate is 53 to 76%.

Other schools in Rwanda: Kigali Institute of Science and Technology

See also


List of schools in Rwanda [[Kigali Institute of Education]

External links



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