More than 30 Private schools in Rwanda have shut down this year and
many more face an uncertain future following dwindling admissions as
parents increasingly take their kids to public schools.
According to reports by Rwanda Today, school owners
who managed to stay open are struggling to meet their operational
costs. Samuel Batamba, the head teacher at College Nkunduburezi in
Gakenke District said, ‘We’ve suffered a sharp decline in the number
of students enroled, yet the school has accumulated debt, unpaid
salaries and owes arrears to suppliers. It is not clear if the school
The “problem” started with the government’s twelve-year basic
education policy which made public schools affordable and preferable.
According to the report, the Ministry of Education invested hugely in
expanding capacity and teaching infrastructure at public schools across
the country; introduced the school feeding programme and abolished
According to statistics from the Ministry of Education, the
government owns 460 out of the more than 1,575 schools in the country.
The rest are run by religious bodies with the Catholic church owning 620
schools, the Anglican church 279, Adventist church 22 and Muslim
schools are at 16. Another 178 schools are run by parents’ associations
Mr Batamba continued to lament saying most private schools used to
have around 900 students but now they barely have 80 students and they
are failing to attract new students.