“The mission of the Ministry of Education is to transform the Rwandan citizen into skilled human capital for socioeconomic development of the country by ensuring equitable access to quality education focusing on combating illiteracy, promotion of science and technology, critical thinking and positive values.”
Minister of Education, Dr. Charles Murigande
Rwanda’s educational system is divided into the following categories:
- Preschool: Ages 4 and 5
- Primary School: (P1-P6) 6 years
- Junior Secondary School: (S1-S3) 3 years
- Senior Secondary School: (S4-S6) 3 years
- University Bachelor’s degree: 4 years
Please see the Education section of our business directory to locate a school near you.
There are three official languages of instruction throughout the Rwandan educational system: Kinyarwanda in the Primary Schools, and French and English in the Junior and Senior Secondary Schools and Universities. Some private schools use English and French from Preschool to the end of Secondary School.
Rwanda recently declared the national language of instruction to be English and, therefore, schools nationwide are implementing English language curricula. The struggle with launching English in every school is the lack of education for teachers. Many schools are filled with teachers who teach English by a few textbooks, but do not understand the language themselves.
The Ministry of Education has declared that the annual Rwandan National Exam, the test students must take in order to receive their general education diploma, will only be offered in English as of November 2011, which has caused an even greater pressure on the educational system to teach all of its students English.
Nine Year Basic Education:
Rwanda is already the most densely populated country in Africa and is one of the youngest countries on earth, with the population at an average age of 19. The population has risen fourfold over the past fifty years from an estimated 2.6 million in 1960 to over 11 million in 2010. Due to this influx in population, schools are constantly exceeding maximum capacity and many children go without any education at all.
The objective of the Nine Year Basic Education program is to give every child access to nine years of quality basic education by 2015. This will allow many children the chance at an education that would not have previously been available to them. This program includes early childhood development, 6 years of primary education, 3 years of lower secondary education, and adult literacy. The idea is that an educated youth leads to a more progressive society and a fully literate society will develop a thriving middle class.
The Musanze District is in the beginning phases of this nine-year plan. So far, 71 classrooms are in the process of being built and have reached the roofing stages.