Rwanda has made great strides in education over the past couple of decades. The government has shown considerable commitment to the sector through various initiatives, including through providing free and compulsory education for nine years of basic education. Free education is now being expanded to 12 years of education.
The government has also undertaken the major reform of changing the curriculum, switching from knowledge to competence-based, and thus make it responsive to the needs of learners, society and the labor market.
Despite these successes, Rwanda education system is still facing challenges in ensuring better learning outcomes, building teacher capacities, improving gender equality, and reducing dropouts and repetition rates.
The Education sector strategic plan covers the period 2018-2024. It has been developed through collective efforts of the ministry of education and relevant stakeholders in the education sector, keeping in mind these challenges. Its conception is based on a wide consensus and the plan is linked to Rwanda’s long-term strategy for development called the National Strategy for Transformation and Prosperity, in which education is one of the central pillars.
The overarching objective of the strategy is to develop skills to strengthen the quality and relevance of education, and to better prepare students to meet the demands of the labor market.
The new curriculum requires major changes in the teaching methodology and the use of a wider range of assessment techniques. In response, the sector plan proposes 9 strategic priorities:
- Enhance the quality of learning outcomes that are relevant to Rwanda’s social and economic development.
- Strengthen continuous professional development and management of teachers across all levels of education in Rwanda.
- Strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across all levels of education to increase the relevance of education for urban and rural markets.
- Enhance the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to transform teaching and learning and support the improvement of quality across all levels of education.
- Increase access to education programs, especially at pre-primary, primary, secondary, TVET and higher education levels.
- Strengthen modern school infrastructure and facilities across all levels of education.
- Give equitable opportunities for all children and young people at all levels of education.
- Perform more innovative and responsive research and development in relation to community challenges.
- Strengthen governance and accountability across all levels of education.