Rwanda: Primary Leaving Exams Start Amidst Tight Covid-19 Guidelines

Ugandan students report to school (file photo).

Primary leaving examinations started today Monday, July 12, with a total of 254,678 pupils sitting for the exams nationwide.

Of these 138,065 or 54 per cent sitting for the exams are female candidates.

The national exams are the first to be conducted in two years following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic prompted a prolonged spell of closure of schools.

At the national level, the exams were officially launched at Remera Catholique Primary School in Gasabo District.

The exams exam started with Mathematics, and by 8:30 am candidates had already received their questionnaires and answer sheets.

The exams started at 9 o'clock countrywide. However, some candidates were still coming in by a quarter past nine.

Charles Ndizeye, the Head Centre of Remera Catholique, said this is due to personal reasons that some face on the way, like transport or the long distance from home and that they will follow it up.

However, they are being allowed to enter the examination rooms up to half-past nine but they still have to finish with the others exactly after three hours.

"The centre will cater for 372 candidates from 4 different schools, and so far only a few are late, and only one student will miss the exams, due to personal reasons, other than that everything is in place including our isolation examination room for students that might have Covid or show signs, we will shift them to that room and alert the health professionals," Ndizeye said.

Claudette Irere, the State Minister for ICT and TVET, who presided over the official launch of exams at Remera Catholique told candidates to work hard and get good results and also follow all the Covid-19 guidelines put in place.

"We urge everyone involved in this process, this includes invigilators and students to fight Covid-19 while sitting for exams, this includes keeping the windows and doors open, social distance and always put on masks to protect," she said. "Every invigilator has a role to play to make sure these pupils are healthy, and if any of them shows a sign, or say they are not feeling well, they should immediately be put in the isolation room."

In case a candidate tests positive for the virus, the government has issued guidelines to follow.

The Minister disclosed that 52 students tested positive for the virus countrywide.

"But they will be able to sit for the exams, they are in isolation rooms where they are doing examinations in their respective centres," Irere said.

According to the National Examinations and Schools Inspection Authority (NESA), there are 1,021 centres for these national examinations from 3,135 primary schools.

The national exams will be conducted for three days where the candidates will cover a total of five subjects, starting with mathematics and social and religious studies on July 12, then July 13 candidates will do science and elementary technology and Kinyarwanda and finally English on July 14.

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