Rwanda: Govt Scraps Tuition Fees for Public Primary Schools

The Ministry of Education has on September 14, announced a new harmonized structure of tuition fees in pre-primary, primary, and secondary levels of education for public, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and government-aided schools.

Starting with the academic year 2022-2023, parents will no longer pay school fees for students in pre-primary and primary, however, they will contribute Rwf975 for school feeding programme.

Whereas parents will pay Rwf19,500 for day-scholar students in public and government-aided secondary schools, and Rwf85,000 for students in boarding schools.

For instance, according to a statement from Lycee de Kigali that entailed school fees of the first term of 2022-2023 academic year, a day scholar student in A’level will now pay Rwf19,500 instead of Rwf86,000 they had stipulated and Rwf85,000 instead of Rwf128,000 for boarding students.

MINEDUC also indicated that when necessary and upon parents’ approval, a contribution for other school needs shall not exceed Rwf7,000.

“For schools that rent mattresses as bedding requirement, they are permitted to charge only new students Rwf9,000 once in three years for replacement purposes,” it added.

Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of Education, said the move to harmonize school fees across all public and government-aided school fees was made to have an equitable structure and support parents with limited means.

“There were no school fees guidelines set before. This caused some schools to charge more, others less, and in some cases, others demanded unnecessary contributions from parents,” she said.

She pointed at regular contributions to construct some school facilities, fences, and mattresses, among others, “which may be necessary for the school but not to be handled by parents.”

The changes, according to her, come after studies were conducted in different schools in light of the current cost of living. “We found that at most 60 percent of contributions requested from parents was spent on foodstuffs,” Uwamariya noted.

“There are certain cases where some schools used to charge fees less than these new directives, they are encouraged to keep it that way. However, they are warned against neglecting the quality of food or education they provide,” she added.

While announcing the fee structure, Uwamariya indicated that private schools will continue charging fees in accordance with inputs from parents’ general assembly.

The changes in the Rwandan education system come after the latest 88 percent salary increment for primary teachers with A2 and a 40 percent increase for secondary teachers.

This means a primary teacher will receive a net pay of Rwf108,488 up from Rwf57,639 while most of secondary teachers with degrees (A0) now receive Rwf246,384 up from Rwf176,189.

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