21 January 2013

Rwanda: Grant All Students a Chance to Sit Examinations


The Ministry of Education, last week, released the 2012 Primary Leaving Examinations and Ordinary Level (Senior Three) Examinations.

However, at least 15,000 candidates who registered for PLE and Ordinary Level examinations did not sit the exams, according to officials.

Several parents and pupils were thus left depressed rather than shouting in joy and happiness that goes with academic excellence.

Kirehe district in Eastern Province recorded the highest number of the no-shows with 5.5 per cent of the candidates who had registered in the district.

Reports say some schools deliberately barred academically weak students from sitting examinations for fear of registering failures to 'taint' their image while some candidates just shied away.

Much as there was a decrease in the number of candidates who missed the examinations compared to 2011, the number is still high.

We acknowledge that passing examinations comes with a lot of pressure among pupils, parents, teachers and the community.

Educators should, therefore, always try to build the self-esteem of the students and reduce the anxiety that comes with examinations.

Many valid arguments for final examinations have been put forward. But the idea of why an examination should have so much bearing on a student's grade is still debatable.

School heads should desist from barring students from sitting examinations on account of their poor academic record.

The resultant effect of depression is a serious burden not only to the student, and parents but the community. Several action plans have been devised by the government to increase school completion rate hence their effectiveness should not be undermined.

We all need to chip in and contribute to concerted effort towards increasing the school completion rate.

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