Rwanda is among the few developing countries which have achieved the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education. However, children between 3-6 years still lack opportunities for pre-primary education, leaving them unprepared for Primary school. This project aims to support three community initiatives in the villages of Cyoma, Rubiha, and Kabuya to launch pre-primary school programs, raise awareness for the importance of schooling, and build much-needed school facilities.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Pre-primary education is instrumental for children to succeed in primary and secondary school, giving them foundational knowledge and language skills. Yet it is largely inaccessible to families in Rwanda. Almost all schools are private or international and charge very high fees. According to the Ministry of Education, there were only 2 public pre-primary schools in 2013. They are very difficult for rural families to afford and access, as most are concentrated in the capital city of Kigali.
How will this project help solve the problem?
This project will support local community initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of children’s education, and enable affordable opportunities for pre-primary schooling. Together, these communities plan to build 30 pre-primary schools by 2017, each with 50 children and 2 teachers. This project will also train teachers in rural areas, providing 60 teachers with certifications to teach and care for the children in these new schools.
These initiatives aim to change the cultural mindsets of parents and local authorities who do not recognize the importance of pre-primary education. They will also increase collaboration between local authorities and communities, around the importance of early childhood education. With access to early education, children will be better equipped with skills that will prepare and ensure them success in later schooling and careers.