17 August 2018

Rwanda: Govt Suspends 57 Schools in Fresh Crackdown

The Ministry of Education has suspended, for a week, 57 public schools, citing failure to meet the basic requirements which students need to be able to follow their studies.

The suspension is a culmination of the ministry's inspection of public schools, which took place from August 13-15 to establish whether recommendations given to some 90 schools in various reports had been met.

Eugene Mutimura, the Minister for Education, said the decision was informed by the fact that the suspended schools did not meet government guidelines on basic things such as food, hygiene, lighting and whether students had access to some equipment like computers.

"Various reports showed that schools were unhygienic in the kitchens, toilets, and there are complaints of bedbugs in dormitories. In some schools, there are no lights in dormitories and classrooms. How do you expect such students to have better results if they don't have a way to revise?" he wondered.

Some schools, the minister said, were given laptops through a programme called "smart classroom" but they are being kept in stores.

More punitive measures are being planned in case the suspended schools fail to fulfil the requirements within a week, the minister said.

This is not the first time the ministry is making random school inspections and taking measures on those falling short of minimum requirements.

"The change is that now we want to give more space to schools to change these things which affect students, contrary to before, when there was no time for them to change anything," said Olivier Rwamukwaya, the State Minister in charge of TVET.

No effect on students

Mutimura said the students will not be affected by this decision as their school term will be extended.

"We are the one who set the school calendar. So be sure no student will be affected by this decision. If the school administrators fail to meet the requirements, they are the one who are going to suffer the consequences, "he said.

There are 1567 secondary schools countrywide, only 90 with very severe cases were evaluated.

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