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Best performing teachers awarded

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Rwanda Education Board (REB) yesterday March 11th awarded best performers for the years 2012 and 2013 with 87 teachers selected from all district across the country recognized, for their contributions to delivering quality education.

The activity is part of a larger campaign involving recognition of good services among Rwanda’s teaching workforce geared towards building a strong education system that can deliver quality education.

87 best performing teachers were recognized each with a Laptop and a modem, both of which gadgets are envisioned to facilitate the growth of a more competent workforce.

State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education in Rwanda, Mathias Hareramungu reiterated the importance of the awards.

“Technology is the current driver of development hence supporting teachers to acquaint with gadgets like computers will assist in producing quality learners who can compete fairly on global markets.”

He added that the event itself makes the teaching profession competitive and has the ability to improve the quality of education.

Now in its third year since 2011, the awarding of best performing teachers is seen to delivering intended results now most teachers have started to compete for recognition.

Notwithstanding the awards for best performance, Rwanda’s Ministry of Education in partnership with other government institutions has spearheaded various initiatives aimed at improving teacher’s welfare including “Girinka Mwalimu” (a teachers’ version of Rwanda’s popular One Cow per family program).

Over 800 cows have been given out since 2009.
In similar initiatives, the government established Umwalimu SACCO, a teacher Savings and Credit Cooperative which is charged with increasing access to financial facilities for teachers. It targets to reduce the widespread poverty among Rwanda’s teachers.

According to Hareramungu, the teachers’ cooperative which was created in 2010 now counts 42.000 members. At least 90 percent of these teachers have received loans to finance housing projects among others.

“This money has positively impacted the welfare of teachers and in so doing garnered their commitment to their jobs,” he said.
Gatsinzi Jean Baptiste teaches in Groupe Scolaire MBURABUTURO in Kigali. He appreciated the government’s initiatives that intend to improve the teacher’s standards of living noting that in the last few years, their (teachers) status in society has improved.

Also, Gatsinzi profited the occasion to request government to invest more efforts in constructing teachers’ homes near schools so as to minimize time wasted in moving long distances.

Sebikari Theoneste, is also one of those rewarded for their incomparable services.

He said that the computer will help boost the newsletter project he established at Kabatwa Secondary School in Nyabihu District where he teaches.

“I am going to profit from extensive reading of documents available on the internet which I am sure will strongly increase my personal knowledge of what is going on around the world and thus improve my competence to provide updated information to the learners.”

“To select best performers, REB judges basing on skills in preparing lessons, teaching, marking and correcting learners, commitment to the job, in addition to interpersonal skills,” Damien NTAGANZWA, the Vice Director in charge of management and development of teachers at REB said.

Geared towards improving the quality of education, the Ministry of Education particularly REB has rolled out homegrown initiatives that intend to eliminate all hindrances to quality education systems.
Numbered highly in the impediments to the quality of education are the poor living standards of teachers. By rewarding the efforts of best performers and introducing the many initiatives that have been rolled out to date, the government envisions to address the challenge.

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