End to end teacher education, employability and professionalization: Current trends and future development

In some countries there is no nobler profession than teaching, some people use to say that watching young people learning and growing is amazing but if you have contributed to that improvement you feel proud of the future generations.

Educationists are among irreplaceable people in society and the education sector carries flash sheet to shape our nation, Rwanda.

The whole chain to get better teachers and a strong education starts from Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) which accommodate senior three (S3) leavers. To get required work force, as of the school year 2020, the Ministry of Education through Rwanda Education Board has turned its direction by only admitting the most brilliant, performing and motivated students in TTCs.

To better train these students, the TTC curriculum was revised to enable TTC leavers to be enough proficient in the subjects content, teaching methodologies, pedagogy and ready enough to do further studies. TTCs shall get modernized equipment’s in terms of science and language laboratory as well.

As accompanying measure, the Government committed to contribute 50% of the school fees for the new cohort of TTC students and if a student completes secondary studies, he/she will teach three years, later on he/she will be awarded the non-refundable scholarship for further studies while university graduates who will teach for five years in secondary will qualify for a non-refundable scholarship and living allowance to pursue a Master’s program in Education.

Current status and motivation of teachers of our schools

 Teachers in primary and secondary schools are working hardly to improve the desired quality education. The government is consistently ready to support them through different projects including the recent 10% salary increment for primary and secondary teachers where Primary and Secondary teachers in public and government-aided schools received a 10% salary increment from March 2019. Along existing incentives like “Umwalimu Sacco”, Teacher Housing, and One cow per teacher, increment seeks to improve retention and motivation of teachers. The Government considers the wellbeing of teachers as a key factor in their overall performance.

     In order to link benefits to improved teaching profession, a clear career path advancement outlines teachers’ classification (Junior, Senior, and Master Teachers), based on seniority, consistent excellent performance, innovation, and continuous professional development. In consideration for awarding government scholarships, education courses shall be prioritized equally as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related courses.

    New teacher recruitment system

     Previously teacher recruitment was done by districts alone, yet they lacked subject expertise in major areas to drive national vision such as Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related subjects.  Teacher recruitment can be improved by collaborative hiring to get qualified and competent teachers and mitigate cases of nepotism and corruption in the process of teacher recruitment. In addition, the process requires long waiting period of time for teacher hiring and placement.

To implement this Cabinet resolution about teacher recruitment, the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) through Rwanda Education Board (REB) conducted consultative workshops and meetings on the improvement of teacher management especially on the teacher recruitment. To improve the recruitment and deployment of basic education teachers and TVET trainers, a teacher Recruitment Coordination Team was also appointed to provide guiding principle and oversee all activities related to teachers’ recruitment process.

After the consultation, Rwanda Education Board prepared and conducted the examinations of new teachers on 10th December 2019 for the first round where 717 applicants succeeded and merit to teach in primary school while 3056 applicants succeeded and merit to teach in secondary schools. However, based on the numbers of teachers needed in our primary and secondary schools, there is a need of second round recruitment of teachers, expected in the near future so as to respond to the need of teachers to fill the vacancies and enable effective learning.

As per the objectives of new recruitment system is concerned, to recruit qualified and competent teachers for primary and secondary schools was the main objective. In that regards, for this time, applicants who master the subjects but with no education background will also be eligible to apply like. If they succeed, they will be hired and employed on contract basis as they also get coaching in teaching methodologies.  This indicates that emphasis is on the mastery of the subject content to nurture future development of this country.

Teaching shall however remain a profession where entrants are properly mentored to know how best to deliver the teaching subjects. Higher Learning institutions providing teacher education programmes starting with University of Rwanda-College of Education were also challenged to guarantee quality graduates for secondary schools.  

 

 

 

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