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“Schools led by women tend to perform better.” Minister Twagirayezu

The Minister of Education, Gaspard Twagirayezu, encourages young women to join the teaching profession as schools led by women tend to do better in terms of student academic performance. He encourages young people to join the teaching profession as it is an opportunity to serve.

Although primary education is predominantly staffed by female teachers, men are more prevalent in leadership roles. The Ministry of Education notes that schools with good leadership perform well in both everyday life and academics, with those led by women having a distinct advantage.

The government of Rwanda and the Mastercard Foundation through the Leaders In Teaching Initiative aim to enhance the quality of learning outcomes. The five-year program aims to impact teachers who are on the front line of the education system and reach thousands of students over their careers. Investing in teachers can improve secondary education outcomes and improve life and livelihood opportunities for youth.

Quality, relevant secondary education is critical to ensuring young people have the skills and competencies they need to succeed in work and in life

During the Learning Partner program closeout event that aimed at showcasing the quantitative and qualitative evidence of the program’s impact, Minister Twagirayezu said that through inspecting reports, schools led by women tend to perform better.

He said, “What we have seen is that when a school has a good leader, it generally performs well, even with limited resources. But we have also noticed that schools led by women exhibit good performance in all aspects.”

“This is why we encourage many women to pursue leadership roles in schools. As I mentioned, we have many female teachers, especially in primary schools, so we should also have many female leaders!”

He emphasized how teaching is “Cool. It gives you an opportunity to support and help. The best way to serve is to be a teacher. You are contributing to building the future.”

Minister Twagirayezu mentioned that in recruiting for the education sector, women are given various opportunities that help them integrate into the profession while also considering their capabilities.

“When we have two candidates with equal scores, the woman is given priority to promote their advancement, but this is also based on their performance,” he explained.

He also mentioned that there are programs proposed by partners that require equal representation of men and women, which encourages women to apply for leadership positions in schools.

Statistics show that less than 30% of school leaders are women, a very small number compared to male-led schools.

The Rwanda Education Board (REB) indicates a low representation of women in positions such as school head, deputy head, academic director, and discipline director.

Minister Twagirayezu stated that the status of teachers and school leaders stipulates that school leaders should come from those already in the teaching profession, thus more awareness is needed to encourage more women to apply for these positions.

“You might find a school with 15 female teachers and five male teachers, but only men apply for the position of headteacher. I think what we need to do in collaboration with our partners is to encourage skilled women in the education sector to consider leadership roles as well,” he said.

The Ministry of Education notes that some of the barriers preventing women from comfortably taking up leadership roles in schools are being removed, such as relocating people to schools closer to their families.

Data from the 2021/2022 academic year shows that there were 125,621 teachers and school leaders, with men comprising 51.3% and women 48.7%.

Incentives have been put into place to ensure that teaching is a rewarding career path for young people. Every student who chooses to go to Teacher Training Colleges gets a 50% Scholarship.

The government has also put into place a Capacity Development Plan. Teachers who have taught for three years in primary schools get full scholarships to pursue their Bachelor’s Degree and if they come back to teach they get another full scholarship for their master’s degree.

Quality education is crucial for equipping young people with the skills they need to succeed in their work and in their lives, Quality teachers are important for the change that we need
Creating the best learning environments improves female representation and performance as well

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