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Education in Rwanda: Highest Enrollment Rates in Africa

Rwanda EducationRwanda’s elementary school enrollment rate is the highest in Africa. It stands as an example for other countries in the continent as the female enrollment rate of 98 percent has surpassed that of the male enrollment rate of 95 percent in primary school.

The Rwandan elementary educational system has brought the primary completion rate to 72.7 percent in 2012. The completion rate was at 53 percent only four years prior.

There has been an increase in the national budget for education in Rwanda for the 2017-18 year. The budget was 17 percent in 2012 and is projected to rise to 22 percent. This funding will help provide Rwandan students with the opportunity to further their studies.

Rwanda was awarded the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Award in 2012 for its education program. The program is called the Nine Year Basic Education Fast Track Strategies and was designed to provide access to nine years of education for Rwandans. The community-based curriculum emphasizes quality education and community-incorporation.

Classrooms and restrooms have been built in accordance to the program. The program was initiated in 2009 and the success of the program is evident in the increase in enrollment, retention, and completion rates of primary school.

Although Rwanda’s primary school enrollment rates are high, the numbers show that a much smaller percentage of primary school children are continuing on to secondary education. The net enrollment rate for secondary school is 33 percent from 2013. This number does show a slow but steady increase of 3 percent from 2010 when the enrollment rate was at 30 percent.

Rwanda’s prioritization of the education of the youth is shown through the increase in enrollment rates throughout the country. Hopefully, other African countries will be quick to follow Rwanda’s lead.

Iona Brannon

Sources: Commonwealth, Global Partnership, UNICEF, US Embassy, World Bank
Photo: Living in KiGali