NO ONE SAID the city is a better place for school and neither did the recent A’ level results. The country’s best schools where top performers for last year’s 2012 Senior Six examinations came from are located in both the country’s urban areas and the villages.
A performance list released by the Rwanda Education Board (REB) shows that the best students came from the remotest places such as Groupe Scolaire Janja in the Northern Province’s Gakenke District and College de Rebero in Gicumbi District, just as they were also produced by some of Kigali City’s best schools such as Riviera High School, Groupe Scolaire Saint André, and Lycée Notre Dame de Citeaux.
Do you need to know where the best students in Sciences came from? Well, four out of the 10 best candidates were produced by Ecole des Sciences Byimana, which is in a village in Southern Province’s Muhanga District.
Other schools that produced best students in sciences came from Kigali City’s Groupe Scolaire Saint André and IFAK Kimihurura, while other best science students came from schools in the Eastern Province, Northern Province, and the Southern Province.
Best students in other subjects including Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics, History, Geography, and Languages—were also produced by schools in both urban and rural areas.
While it is often common to hear some parents complaining about their children being sent to schools in rural areas and then try to find their children a place to study in an urban setting, it is perhaps better to look at the schools’ reputation before denying the children a chance to excel.
For example, results from the past years show that Ecole des Sciences Byimana is consistently doing well in sciences and the first thing that needs to come in the parents’ mind should be that reputation rather than the dusty road that one may have to use when taking a child to such a school.
Actually, rural-based schools are slowly building their reputation. They beat their urban counterparts in both 2010 and 2011’s A’Level national examinations.
For the examinations’ results in 2011, the 10 best districts were all based upcountry with schools from Southern and Eastern provinces taking top positions and remote places such as Gisagara and Rwamagana districts appearing at the highest levels of the list.
As it seems, it is possible for students to excel as long as they go to schools that have the ability to dispense courses in their dream areas.
When The New Times interviewed Toni Martinez, 19, a former Riviera High School student who emerged the 2012 A’ Level second-best in Biology, he said that his secret was in doing a subject that he loved at a school that had the right kind of teachers for the subject.
“Biology was the subject I paid attention to most. My favourite teacher, Celestine, was the best biology teacher ever,” he said. It would be interesting to see the reaction from parents and students if Riviera High School moved to a remote place such as Nyaruguru.