Rwanda, World Bank sign US$200 million education deal

The Government and the World Bank Thursday signed a US$200 million (around Rwf180 billion) credit financing agreement to improve teacher competency and student retention and learning.

According to the World Bank, human capital – the sum of a population’s health, skills, knowledge, and experience – accounts for the largest share of countries’ wealth globally, and it allows everyone to reach their full potential.

Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and Yasser El-Gammal the World Bank Country Manager signed the agreement at the former’s offices in Kigali.

It is a concessional loan that will be paid in 38 years, Ndagijimana said, with a grace period of six years.

Ndagijimana explained that one of the three main components of the projects is reducing overcrowding and distance to schools which will be achieved through financing the construction of 11,000 furnished classrooms and approximately 14,680 latrines, which is 50 per cent of the required school infrastructure.

The project consists of three main components which include enhancing teacher effectiveness for improved student learning, reducing overcrowding and distance to schools, and strengthening institutional capacity to support teaching and learning.

Ndagijimana said enhancing teacher effectiveness for improved student learning will be done through “improving teachers’ English language proficiency and digital skills, support the professional development of maths and science teachers in upper primary through lower secondary schools.

The project is consistent with the Education Sector Strategic Plan (2018–2024) that gives priority to improvements in learning outcomes and completion rates for basic education.

“Rwanda intends to become a knowledge-based economy and to achieve this objective, a strong human capital base is critical,” he said.

Africa reportedly has the largest return on education of any continent, with each additional year of schooling raising earnings by 11 per cent for boys and 14 per cent for girls. But, according to the World Bank, issues of access and quality loom large; with about 50 million children not in school at all.

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