Rwanda: Exams' Body Reassures Candidates Ahead of General Elections

Paul Kagame, président du Rwanda

Students of voting age who will do their national examinations during the July 14-16 elections will be facilitated to vote, according to the National Examination and School Inspection Authority (NESA).

The elections coincided with the period when high school students are busy preparing for national exams. Jean Claude Nzeyimana, the head of the Basic Education and TVET Examination Department at NESA, noted that the candidates for the senior three and senior six exams will vote from official polling stations near the schools, rather than at examination centres.

Senior three exams will start on July 23 and end on July 30 while senior six exams start on July 23and end on August 2.

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He said: "We have a database of information on students' age, which we submitted to the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the Ministry of Local Government. Overall, 52,630 boarding scholar candidates will vote. Out of the total number, 3,805 students are in senior three, while others are in upper secondary.

"All boarding scholars will access the polling stations by walking since the distance is short. For those with special needs, NEC made necessary arrangements to support them get to the polling stations as well as help them during the voting process."

Nzeyimana said that parents or guardians will accompany the day scholars to polling stations.

At the launch of the 2023-2024 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) at Groupe Scolaire Gisozi in Gasabo District, on July 8, Minister of Education Gaspard Twagirayezu, noted that coordinating with NEC, the ministry arranged for the students eligible to vote to participate in the electoral process without disrupting their academic activities.

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He noted lists of student voters were prepared to facilitate their voting, ensuring that academic and civic responsibilities are well balanced.

"The timing of the examinations was strategically planned to accommodate the voting process. NEC, NESA, and the Ministry of Local Government, designed the school calendar last year to ensure that PLE starts on July 8 and ends on July 10, while secondary candidates for the 2023/2024 national exams commence their written assessments on July 23. The time in between will allow students to vote without disturbing the examination period," Nzeyimana added.

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