Text by David Himbara
The newly recruited 154 Zimbabwean teachers have arrived in Rwanda, and are set to train and transfer knowledge and skills to Rwandan teachers and learners. More Zimbabwean teachers are on their way to Rwanda.
The Zimbabwean teachers will target primary and secondary schools, technical and vocational schools, and the University of Rwanda. The collapse of the education sector in Rwanda dates to 2009 when General Paul Kagame instantly switched the language of instruction in Rwanda from French to English.
Predictably, disaster struck. Rwandan teachers did not have English skills beyond beginner or elementary level of the English language. The near total absence of teachers with English skills is what led the Kagame government to announce that it would recruit 1,000 teachers from Uganda and Kenya to fill teachers shortage created by the sudden switch of the language of instruction from French to English. After realizing that 1,000 teachers from the region were not enough, Rwanda announced in 2011 that it would recruit 4,000 teachers from Kenya.
Subsequently, however, none of these schemes were implemented due to among other things, lack of money to pay the foreign teachers.
The schemes were abandoned leaving Rwanda’s education sector in a mess in 2022, 13 years after plunging the sector into chaos in 2009. Enter the Zimbabwean teachers in October 2022 – will they succeed in building Rwanda’s failed education sector? Stay tuned.