Transparency Rwanda gives education good marks
Transparency International Rwanda (TI-Rw) has released a report according to which the funds allocated to the 9-years basic education program (9YBE) have been used effectively. However, the report identified delays in disbursement and non-respect of ministerial order guidelines.
The report entitled “Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS)” was based on research carried out nationwide, indicates that 80.9% of parents and students are satisfied of the spending of their schools. Parents testified that procurement procedures are transparent, mostly because teachers and parents take part in the evaluating team. They are also involved in the management of the capitation grant.
According to Marie-Immaculee Ingabire, the chairwoman of TI-Rw, the 9YBE is a successful program which has boosted enrolment and decreased dropout rates.
According to Mathias Harebamungu, the Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education, the ministry’s mission is to transform Rwandan citizens into a skilled capital for sustainable development. “There has been a significant increase of pupils in both secondary and primary schools. 95.9% of all children of school-going age actually do so, compared to 93, 8% in 2010”, Harebamungu said.
However, the research revealed a number of challenges, such as that for example students were denied because they could not pay fees. “Excluding pupils from school because their parents are poor is a violation of right to education,” said Apollinaire Mupiganyi, TI-Rw executive director. “We know that the ministry of education is working on this and we encourage them to ensure that our schools are accessible to all regardless of their economic status.”
TI-Rw also called upon the ministries of education and of finance to introduce standard reporting formats, to make sure that all requests for funds are accurate in order to disburse funds timely. The organization also said training for head teachers should be provided, and recommended districts to organize regular audits of schools and ensure that their reports are accurate and timely. It asked head teachers to improve transparency in the management of funds and always involve teachers and parents.
“At a time when the program is being extended to 12 years, more efforts should be made to improve filing, reporting and audit to ensure that all the funds are spent to the benefits of pupils”, Ingabire noted.