Un-harmonised systems and poor co-ordination between schools and local governments have been blamed for the continuous salary delays for primary and secondary teachers — even as more than five districts are yet to disburse February salaries.
Sources who talked to Rwanda Today attributed the salary delays to dated and lengthy processes by districts to effect payments.
Nyagatare is one of the five districts affected by the salary delays, with teachers being told their February payments will delay following some typing errors on the teachers list, which caused the payment to be rejected by the finance ministry for processing.
George Niyonzima, a head teacher at Kagitumba High school, told this paper that most teachers in his district were forced to apply for loans as they wait for their salaries, two months on.
“The delays are caused by fresh recruitment and placement of teachers as this disrupts allocation of salaries,” Mr Niyonzima said.
Recruitment and placement
While responding to the issue, the incoming director of the Rwanda Education Board Irénée Ndayambaje agreed that recruitment and placement of teachers in the districts has been causing the delay.
However, he said a new system was being introduced to ensure a comprehensive database of teachers, which would ease payment of salaries in the future.
“Some districts were slow in placing teachers as it involves getting information on their identity, bank details and social security number,” Dr Ndayambaje said.
But, he said the new programme to register teachers across the country would reduce the workload and a lot of paper work at the district level.
“The new registration system will help us identify teachers on duty and we shall give them serial numbers. This will help us deal with the issue of ghost teachers,” he said.
According to Dr Ndayambaje, more than 90 per cent of the teachers countrywide have been registered in the database and the exercise is expected to be completed by late June.
Last year, the government kicked off a new “pay and retention” policy for public servants to reduce salary disparities. It was being implemented by the Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA) shortly after approval from the Cabinet.
Over the past five years the teacher’s salary increment only rose by 10 per cent plus the normal capitation grant of $20 (Rwf.12,500).