Education in Rwanda

Rwanda considers education a critical investment for the country’s future growth and development. This is evidenced by the increased share of the national budget allocated to the education sector, which is projected to increase from 17% in 2012/13 to 22% in 2017/18.

In the past few years, the education system in Rwanda has gone through an impressive period of growth especially in terms of access. Still, the country faces many challenges such as the onerous task of double-shift teaching for the primary school teachers and the language transition from French to English for grades 4 and above, which has been very difficult for teachers who do not have adequate time to improve their proficiency in English language.

The concepts of universal equitable access and quality education provision are the foundation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) 2013/14 -2017/18. This plan builds upon the national priority of making quality twelve-year basic education available for all children and also reflects the country’s mission to make education at all levels more accessible.

The ESSP outlines three main goals:

  • Promoting access to education at all levels
  • Improving the quality of education and training
  • Strengthening the relevance of education and training to meet labor market demands.

Equity in access to education is emphasized to ensure that disadvantaged students, such as girls, the poor and the disabled, have access to quality learning opportunities.

The following expected outcomes have been developed based on the goals mentioned above:

  • Expand access to 12 years of basic education
  • Increase access for students with special needs
  • Improve learning outcomes across primary and secondary education
  • Ensure qualified, suitably-skilled and motivated teachers
  • Increase equitable access to relevant, high-quality, demand-driven TVET programs
  • Increase equitable access to affordable higher education
  • Improve access to school readiness programs
  • Strengthen performance in science, technology and innovation at all levels
  • Increase access to Adult Basic Education to improve adult literacy and numeracy
  • Improve administrative and management support services.

Blogs and news

Latest grant

Development objective: Expanding access to education at all levels, improving the quality of education and training, and strengthening the relevance of education and training to the labor market.
Allocation: US$25,200,000
Years: 2015-2018
Grant agent: DFID
Disbursements: US$25,200,000

The US$25.2 million grant approved in May 2015 was one of the first grants allocated by GPE under its new funding model, where 30% of the grant amount is linked to specific results.

The grant was transferred directly to the government's budget in support of the implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan.

Rwanda chose the following indicators for the results portion of the grant:

  • Equity: monitor the rate of children enrolled in pre-primary school, with a target of 17% in 2017 in the 22 poorest performing districts, compared to a baseline of 10% in 2014.
  • Efficiency: publish education statistics, disaggregated by district.
  • Learning: assess Grade 6 students and results used to inform the country's teaching and learning practices.

The ministry of education leads the Education Sector Working Group in Rwanda, which includes development partners and representatives from civil society organizations. There is a good collaboration among the education partners in the country. The coordinating agency is UNICEF.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2015-2018 25,200,000 25,200,000 DFID Completion report
2011-2014 70,000,000 70,000,000 DFID  
2007-2010 70,000,000 70,000,000 World Bank  
2009-2010 35,000,000 35,000,000 World Bank Completion report
- 30,800,000 0 DFID  
Sector plan development 2017-2018 323,570 323,570 DFID  
Program development 2019-2020 121,776 0 DFID  
2018 139,487 139,487 DFID  
  Total 231,584,833 200,663,057    
Data last updated: April 03, 2020

GPE has also provided the Rwanda Education For All (REFAC) with a grant from the Civil Society Education Fund, to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Rwanda, and GPE data shows the country progress on 16 indicators monitored in the GPE Results Framework.

Primary Completion Rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers Trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated February 06, 2020