Rwanda: Joy As Schools in Kigali Reopen

23 February 2021

Students and parents whose children study in schools located in Kigali hailed the resumption of physical learning after more than a month of closure due to Covid-19.

The decision, taken by the government to reopen schools in the capital, followed an apparent decline in the number of daily Covid-19 infections.

According to Daria Ihirwe, a senior five student at Lycee de Kigali, studying from home was challenging.

"Since we are now back to school, we will be having a conducive environment that will help us to pay attention to our studies. When you are at home, it is not easy to concentrate," she told The New Times on Tuesday, February 23.

Ihirwe shares the same view with Kevine Isimbi Ishimwe, a senior three student who explained that resuming face-to-face learning will help her to be more attentive.

She said: "We are happy to meet our teachers again. Being taught by a teacher is different from studying by yourself. I think this time we will be more focused, and better understand what we study."

Meanwhile, pupils in lower primary and nursery schools located in Kigali were among those highly affected by the pandemic as far as studies are concerned, with almost one year at home without going to school.

Sylvie Ruhuka Juru, a primary two pupil at Groupe Scolaire Remera Catholic, is among those who expressed joy for attending class again.

She said: "I am happy about coming back to school. I have been missing classes and my friends as well."

According to Claudine Munezero, a mother of two children, one in nursery and another one in primary one, the long period without attending class had academically affected pupils.

"I am glad that my children are going back to school after almost a year at home, and so are they. They had started to forget what they learned, regardless of the efforts to help them to study remotely. Going forward, we expect them to go back in the mood of studying," she explained.

This is the first time the government is fully reopening doors to all learners since last year in March when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.

Previously, schools were reopened in phases except for pre-primary and lower primary (P1-P3) classes, especially those in the capital Kigali which remained closed as the government encouraged homeschooling.

According to the Minister of Education, Uwamariya Valentine, the academic year for both pre-primary and lower pupils has been extended because they are starting from the first term, while students in the upper classes started from the second term when schools reopened.

She said that students in the above-mentioned categories are expected to complete their academic year in late September this year, while others will wrap up the year in July, two months earlier.

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