Rwanda: Government to Introduce Weekend Studies for Candidate Students

24 February 2021

Marie Harerimana is a senior six student at Lycee de Kigali. She says she is concerned that she will sit for the same national exam as students from upcountry schools who were not affected by last month's decision by the government to close all schools in Kigali due to Covid-19.

The decision that was at first meant to last for two weeks lasted for five weeks due to an unprecedented spike in Covid-19 infections, mainly in the capital.

"Due to the on and off learning brought by Covid-19, we are still working hard to finish the content of senior six, leaving little to no time for us to revise what we covered in senior four and five so as to be ready for the national exam.

This adds to the five weeks we spent without attending classes while students upcountry were studying, raising concerns of whether we will not perform poorly compared to them, if we will indeed sit for the same exam," Harerimana explained.

Love Mbabazi, another candidate student in primary six at Saint Paul, also says that it will require much efforts to be at the same level with students from upcountry schools.

"To catch-up with others, it will require us to work hard and waste no more time, which we are ready to do," she underscored.

According to the Minister of Education, Valentine Uwamariya, the government is aware of such concerns and has stepped up efforts to respond accordingly.

"We are also concerned about the fact that students in Kigali lagged behind compared to those studying from upcountry. For candidate students in the capital, we are planning to introduce classes on Saturdays so as to make sure that they don't remain behind," she said.

In this exercise, she added, we will mainly focus on principal subjects.

However, Mujawamariya did not specify when this move will take effect.

Besides introducing weekend studies, the minister of education explained that "an assessment will be carried out ahead of national examinations" so as to set examinations that match with what they covered.

Meanwhile, all schools in Kigali resumed physical learning on Tuesday, February 23, after more than one month without operating.

The decision by the government to reopen schools in the capital was welcomed by both students and parents.

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