Lack of transport for sector education officials has hampered inspection of schools especially in remote areas and many of them are unaware about different government policies on education.
While the government through Rwanda Education Board (REB) provides at least Rwf300,000 facilitation fees for sector education officers (SEO) for an academic year with three semesters, officials who talked to this paper said they had not received the fees.
Alex Hakuzweyezu, a SEO in Rurembo sector in Nyabihu district, told Rwanda Today that he has been using his monthly salary to carry out his work and when he runs out of money he is unable to serve and inspect some schools in his sector.
“We are expected to make outreach visits to all schools in our areas to carry out assessments and provide reports, but this is not always possible especially for schools in remote areas. We have been complaining about lack of transport facilitation, yet agronomists, veterinarians, land officers at the sector have motorcycles to cover different areas especially those not accessible by bus,” said Mr Hakuzweyezu.
He added that lack of transport leaves little or no time to do carry out checks on schools, teaching and learning processes, school management, community libraries, early childhood education among other things.
Mr Hakuzweyezu also said that some schools in remote areas were left out of crucial programmes like the one-lap-top-per-student and smart classrooms, which the government has been advocating for in the drive to integrate ICT in education.
However, director of Rwanda Education Board Irénée Ndayambaje, said he was aware of the complaints and the ministry has been allocating money to cater for transport facilitation for district and sector education officials.
“The government has been allocating transport subsidies, but disbursement has been marred by inefficiencies at the district levels. We are also aware of SEOs who do not know they are entitled to the subsidies. They should now know this is provided for in the national budget,” said Dr Ndayambaje.
He added that they have agreed with the Ministry of Local Government to facilitate early disbursement of the transport fees.
Desire Munyemana, who is in charge of education in Musanze district, said they only became aware of the transport subsidies two years ago, but there have been issues mostly relating to delays in disbursement from the central government.
“Every SEO is entitled to Rwf80,000 each semester and despite delays mostly by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, our district has been giving this money.
It is a small amount and we ask SEOs to spend it prudently,” said Mr Munyemana.