Schools in Rwanda have just begun their 2013 academic school year. For sustainable, Christ-centered schools, this means working extra hard to ensure a quality education is being offered where all students are succeeding, while offering a Christian worldview to their students.
As we plan for the year, creating new partnerships with local schools, it is always important to know the context in which we are working. Rwanda is a country of 10 million people in a landmass roughly the size of Maryland. Rwanda has worked tirelessly to recover and restart after the 1994 genocide, and according to the World Bank, they have a 8.2% GDP growth rate to show for it. The streets are clean, there is almost no crime to speak of, and children are all working hard to be in school and achieve on the National Examinations.
Rwanda is working very hard to meet the Millennium Development Goals agreed on by the UN for education. Goal 2 is to ensure that by 2015 children everywhere are able to complete a full course of primary schooling. Rwanda is way ahead of the game with a primary enrollment rate of 99% in 2012 according to the World Bank. Rwanda has continued this effort and opened up free public education through 9th grade. To do so, primary schools double shift their students, having students only come for a half day of lessons, with an average teacher to student ratio of 1:58.
Where the public schools in Rwanda have worked very hard to ensure “Access for All,” the affordable private schools have been able to focus on quality education with a Christian perspective. Private schools can offer their students a full day of instruction instead of half, have class sizes of no more than 40, and have teachers that are dedicated to their calling. They are committed to reaching the poor of Rwanda, and lifting them out of poverty through quality education rooted in biblical principles. We look forward to coming alongside these schools this year, and hope to help them meet the needs of their students.