Parents and head teachers in Kigali have hailed the new harmonized school fee structure in all public and government-aided schools which was announced ahead of the new academic year 2022-2023 set to begin this month.
The Rwandan Ministry of Education on September 14, announced that parents will no longer pay school fees for students in pre-primary and primary, however, they will contribute Rwf975 to the school feeding programme.
On the other hand, parents will pay Rwf19,500 for students in day school in public and government-aided secondary schools, and Rwf85,000 for students in boarding schools.
Speaking to The New Times, Pie Nambajimana, the head teacher of College La Lumiere de Gashonga TVET in Rusizi district, welcomed the development saying that it would facilitate the parents as well as help in quality education.
In addition, he pointed out that generally, TVET schools used to charge more than the newly set fees, which was a challenge for some parents and might lead to school dropouts.
Nambajimana said now schools are going to be on the same standards which will increase education quality.
“Some parents used to send their children to expensive schools believing that they would get better education there yet there was no actual difference…harmonising fees is a good move,” he said.
According to MINEDUC when necessary and upon parents’ approval, any additional contribution by parents towards any other school needs shall not exceed Rwf7,000
Alphonsine Nyirabahire, the head teacher of Groupe Scolaire Nyakiriba in Rubavu district commended the government for continued efforts to support the education sector.
At her school, she said, fees were below the new structure set, which said left them struggling to maintain quality on a thin budget.
However, Nyirabahire pointed out that the Rwf 950 contribution to school feeding is still a small amount compared to the quantity as well as quality of meals needed to satisfy the students in general.
Diogene Kalisa, a father of three said this was highly needed arguing that schools used to hike fees almost every term without any valid reasons. He added that now parents will be able to plan ahead knowing that there won’t be unnecessary changes in fees.
According to the school calendar that was released last week, the first term will begin on September 26 and end on Friday, December 23. The students will then have a two-week holiday from December 24, 2022, to January 7, 2023.
The second term will start on Monday, January 8, 2023, and end on Thursday, March 31, 2023 –followed by a two-week break that will end on April 16, 2023.
The third term will start on April 17, 2023, and end on July 14, 2023, according to the calendar.