Rwanda: Boarding Schools Reopen for Students

Students in boarding schools will begin heading back to school on Thursday, April 15, the Ministry of Education announced on Wednesday.

The students scheduled to return on Thursday are those from schools located in Nyanza, Musanze, Nyamashake, Rusizi, Rwamagana and Kayonza districts as well as Kigali.

On Friday, schools from Huye, Gisagara, Gakenke, Ngororero, Nyabihu, and Bugesera districts will also receive students.

Students studying in Ruhango, Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru, Gicumbi, Rulindo, Karongi, Rutsiro, Ngoma and Kirehe districts are expected to be there on Saturday.

The last cohort is composed of students studying in Muhanga, Burera, Kamonyi, Rubavu, Gatsibo and Nyagatare districts. They will return to school on Sunday.

The government has urged parents to send their children to school early so that they arrive there not later than 5 p.m.

Students are also supposed to be wearing school uniforms while returning to school.

"Students who depart from Kigali or transit through it heading to upcountry schools will pick buses from Nyamirambo Regional Stadium," the ministry said in a statement.

Transport preparations and Covid-19 safety guidelines have been made to ensure smooth transportation of students, according to Flavia Salafina who is in Charge of Information, Education and Communication in the Ministry of Education.

"We have held discussions with all concerned authorities such as Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), transport companies and local leaders to make sure that in the next four days, students are prioritised to get transport means and arrive at school on time," she said.

Concerning Covid-19 preventive measures, she explained, the ministry is working with Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) to ensure that guidelines are observed.

"Schools have also got time to put in place preventive measures as they had done last term," Salafina added.

Some of the preventive measures mandatory in schools include wearing of facemask, practising social distancing, washing hands and temperature testing before entering the school premises.

Every school is also expected to have a Covid-19 task force that monitors the implementation of the set guidelines.

According to the current school calendar, besides nursery and pre-primary children, others will begin third term studies on Monday, April 19, and end the academic year on July 9.

However, nursery and pre-primary pupils, who resumed their studies late because of Covid-19 restrictions, will end their second term on June 11.

After a holiday of three weeks, they will go back to school for their third term on July 5 and end it on September 3.

Meanwhile, candidate students will sit for their national examinations days after the end of third term.

Primary school national examinations will take place on July 12 and end on July 14.

For secondary, teacher training colleges, and vocational and technical school students, examinations are scheduled on July 20 and end on July 30.

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