2019 national exams data entry clerks decry unpaid wages

The New Times.

Data Entry Clerks -who recorded and captured data for 2019 national examination marks for primary pupils, ordinary level and senior six secondary school into computerized system- have expressed frustration over delayed pay, saying it is impacting negatively on their livelihood amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Data Entry Clerks captured results for 286,087 primary level candidates who sat for the exams on November 4-6 and results for 119,932 ordinary level candidates who sat for exams on November 12-19.

Others did for 46,653 candidates who sat Advanced Level exams.

The data entry work started in November with primary level candidates.

“Some of us like me started the work in November 2019. We finished all work but we waited for our pay in vain. REB owes me Rwf410, 000 as data entry clerk. We request REB to pay us the money we worked for by compiling data of the 2019 national exams results.

Whenever we raise the issue to officials they always tell us to expect our salary in few weeks. But until now, we seem to no longer have hope since it is about five months without paying us,” one of the data entry clerks who preferred anonymity told The New Times.

He is part of a group of about 100 data entry officers who are decrying the unpaid salary.

“We have a WhatsApp group of 65 data entry clerks but there are others who are not in the group. We have the same problem. We have been requesting our pay since January,” he explained.

This Data Entry Clerk, who studied computer science, explained that they worked in different exams centres across the country.

The centers for primary candidates were in Muhanga district, ordinary level in Kigali and A level in Nyanza district.

He said that some started the job on 11/11/2019 and others on 27/11/2019.

“Some of us had obtained loans from friends and shops expecting to pay back when we get money, but haven’t done that, something that has caused a lot of friction between us and our creditors,” he said.

Another Data Entry Clerk who also preferred anonymity added, “Delay in paying us is affecting us a lot especially during this lockdown. We are part time workers and we are no longer going out to look for jobs. That is why the money we worked for could be helping us to get food.”

The source said that almost each of the workers is demanding pay of above Rwf300, 000.

The New Times spoke to four affected clerks who complained of the same issue but asked for anonymity.

Dr. Irénée Ndayambaje, the Director General of Rwanda Education Board (REB) said he is going to follow up on the issue and make sure the Data Entry Clerks are paid their arrears.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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