Temporary headteachers protest dismissal on frivolous grounds

Wednesday May 18 2022
Schools headtechers

Head teachers who were recruited to plug shortage on temporary contracts two years ago claim they have been dismissed on flimsy grounds. Photo: Cyril Ndegeya


Some head teachers in Kigali who were recruited on short term contracts have been dismissed on flimsy grounds.

The affected teachers claim that Rwanda Education Board (REB) dismissed them on grounds of incompetence after working for a year. The aggrieved teachers questioned why they could have secured employment if indeed they were incompetent.

The head teachers were appointed in February 2020 as the schools were pre- paring to reopen after a long closure due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Out of the 3,477 applicants for the position in the 340 primary schools, only 295 teachers passed the exam. However, Rwanda Today has learnt that some of the teachers failed online exams and did not have the required experience.

For instance, Lambert Ntawurikura, (not real name) who requested for anonymity to be able to speak freely, said no evaluation was done to determine their performance.

"... There was no evaluation done to determine our performance. Also, we were requested to apply for an online test... I was accused of lacking the experience, yet I count 13 years compared with the five years, all required candidates are required to have," said Ntawurikura.


"The district had approved us to take up the positions after evaluating our documents. Therefore, I think the letters we got were supposed to be for internships, and then we would continue working ..” he said.

However, REB told Rwanda Today that the previous the engagement was supposed to be for a short term and not permanent. The law guiding the Ministry of Education provides for recruitment using a committee.

"The head teacher is appointed when he or she is at least in the third category of teachers in the respective level of formal education he or she is working in, his outstanding performance, integrity and his outstanding professional ethics has to be observed," reads the law REB insists that a decision was made for the teachers competence to be assessed with exams after consulting different stakeholders involved.

"After various discussions with different agencies responsible for the development of education in Rwanda; we found that there was no statutory prohibition on the selection of directors of institutions through examinations.

That is why it has been necessary to conduct both written and oral examinations, to find the effective school leaders through transparency," said Leon Mugenzi, Head of Teacher Development and Management Department in Rwanda Education Board.