Rwanda Raises Primary Teacher Salaries By 88%

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Primary school teachers in Rwanda will get an 88 percent pay rise starting August as part of the country’s incentives aimed at improving teachers’ livelihoods.

Under the new revisions, secondary school teachers will also see their pay increased by 40 percent.

The country’s education ministry in a communique on Monday noted that net salaries of certificate holders in the teaching profession which currently starts at 50,849 FRW (Ksh.5,856) will go up to Ksh.11,010.

A teacher’s salary recruited and paid on the basis of diploma will increase by 40 percent of net starting salary of RWF 54,916 (Ksh.6,324), increasing the salary to Ksh.8,800.

“For a teacher recruited and paid on the basis of AO degree (total of 17,547 teachers) will increase by 40% of net starting salary or 70,195 FRW (Ksh.8,084),” Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, the education minister said.

This means the starting salary of a degree-holding teacher will go up to Ksh.11,318.

“The salaries for Head Teachers, Deputy Head Teachers, and support staff working in public and government-aided schools have also been revised upwards. These decisions come into force from the payment of the teacher salaries of August 2022,” the statement added.

Whereas Rwanda has increased teachers’ salaries by 10 percent since March 2019, the country’s The New Times newspaper reports that over 1000 teachers leave their profession monthly in search of better welfare.

The new pay rise is part of a package that will incorporate incentives to improve the welfare of teachers and promote the quality of education in public and government-aided schools for general education and TVET.

Meanwhile, Kenyan teachers have been embroiled in a tussle with the government over salaries. The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) last month demanded a 60-percent salary increase, which they wanted implemented immediately.

KNUT secretary general Collins Oyuu cited the high cost of living while pushing for a revision of teachers’ salaries.

“We have commenced a structured negotiation with the employer to see to it that a 60 per cent salary rise is awarded to teachers,” Mr. Oyuu said.

He called for a review of the 2021-25 collective bargaining agreement, which was signed with non-monetary benefits.

The 2021-25 CBA comprised non-monetary benefits, including extended paid maternity leave for female teachers as well as an introduction of paternity leave for male teachers.

Other issues the teachers union wants addressed are payments for the Teachers Professional Development which are footed by the teachers, and a review of the policies on teacher promotion.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha, however, brushed off the teachers’ demand, saying the government cannot afford it. 

Magoha stated that the government is currently focused on setting up classrooms to ensure smooth transition to secondary school under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

“As a minister, because I am not responsible for TSC, I can tell you that it is most unreasonable because His Excellency’s government, which I have been grateful to serve, is spending 25.9% of the budget on education as we speak,” said the CS on July 21.

“Let us not play stupid politics, there is no way – and you can take this to the bank – the government can give teachers 60 percent.”

Prof. Magoha also claimed Kenya’s education sector is the most funded on the continent and instead proposed reforms in the docket to improve teachers’ working conditions.

“Teachers are of course entitled to increment of salaries but in the whole of this continent there’s no government that is spending more money on education than ours. So perhaps what we should be doing is to ensure we have value for money,” he said then.

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