Basic Education



Basic Education

Rwanda has the highest primary school enrolment rates in Africa. For both boys and girls, it is on track to achieve universal access to primary education by 2015. There has been sustained progress in access to education with the primary net enrolment rate increasing to 96.5 per cent in 2012. Gender parity at primary level has been achieved, with girls’ net enrolment rate of 98 per cent, which is higher than for boys (95%). The overall completion rate at primary level is 72.7% (2012), which is a dramatic increase from 52.5% in 2008, with girls’ completion rates at 77.7% in 2012, and this reflects Rwanda’s success at increasing access and retention of children in primary school. The qualified teacher to pupil ratio at primary level stands at 62:1, which is an improvement from the 2008 figure of 67:1. (Source: Ministry of Education Statistics Yearbook 2012))

The secondary school net enrolment rate now stands at 28 per cent (30% for girls), up from 26 per cent (27% for girls) in 2011. Girls now make up 52 per cent of students in secondary education. The net enrolment rate for pre-primary education increased to 12.7 per cent (girls 13.2%) in 2012. The unfinished agenda is to increase coverage of pre-primary education from this very low base.

Rwanda won the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards 2012, for the innovative fast-tracking strategies of the 9 Year Basic Education Programme. This is a recognition of the progress which Rwanda has made in increasing access to nine years basic education and an acknowledgement of the innovative and successful approaches taken to ensure that all children can access and complete quality basic education in Rwanda.

With Rwanda’s success of achieving near universal access to primary education, a strengthened focus has been placed in recent years on supporting the government to improve quality education and in building capacities to plan, implement and monitor programmes and interventions aimed at ensuring equitable access to quality education, including early childhood education services.

What is UNICEF doing?

As part of the One UN in Rwanda, UNICEF is providing support to the Government to:

  • Develop of the 9 Year Basic Education Fast Tracking strategies which includes development of school infrastructure standards and guidelines to ensure the quality of school construction; 
  • Expand access to learning opportunities for the most vulnerable children;
  • Improve the quality and relevance of education at pre-primary, primary and secondary education;
  • Expand access to quality integrated Early Childhood Development and pre-primary services and programmes;





Facts & Figures

Primary Net Enrolment rate (2012): 96.5%
(95% Boys, 98% Girls)

Primary Completion rate (2012): 72.7%

Pupil qualified teacher Ratio (2012): 1/62

Pre Primary Net Enrolment Rate (2012): 12.7%

Secondary Net Enrolment Rate (2012): 28%

Source: National Data from National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Education


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