Monica Tumukunde is the headmistress of Ecole Secondaire Kanombe, which is also known as EFOTEC. She talked to Education Times’ Grace Gatera about her life in the education sector:
Who is Monica Tumukunde?
Actually it is Monica Tumukunde Leonard. I was born in Karagwe, Tanzania in 1975 to Rwandan parents. My father is called Ntagonzera Leonard and my mother is Musabyeyezu Veronica. I am from a family of seven. Currently I am married to Buseni Vincent, and we have 3 children, twins and a 2 year old boy.
Which schools did you attend?
Nursery and Primary schools were at Kimuli Primary school in Karagwe and I did my O’ level at Karagwe Secondary School. However, my parents decided to return home and I finished my A’ levels at Lycee de Kigali here in Rwanda.
I hold a Bachelors Degree in Education (Biology and Geography ) from the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE).
Why did you choose to be a teacher?
I am a leader, I love children and I love to teach. I feel proud when under my wing, a child transforms into a better person, academically speaking of course but also in terms of discipline.
What schools have you worked with before?
Just this one. I finished school 11 years ago, and since then I was a headmistress at this school. I knew it when it was still a fledgling school.
What do you do in your leisure time?
I read, but I am also doing a master’s in Education at KIE so I do not really have free time.
What are your best and worst moments in your career?
Best moment, I have many but the absolute best one was in 2011, when the first batch of students, the ones I found in S1 in 2006 finished S6 and 90 per cent of them passed well.
The worst happens any time I get a case of an irresponsible parent. My heart breaks every time I see a child who has been neglected especially on visiting days. I wish parents could see what I see.
What would you have been if you had not become a teacher?
I would still be involved in education. I honestly have always wanted to be a teacher.
Who is your role model?
My father. All the principles I have are from him.
Is there anything that the public or your students do not know about you?
I am not sure if they do not know this but, I am a perfectionist. If I assign you a task and you do not do it well, I do not work with that.
Any advice to students?
Be responsible. That is how a student performs best. The moment you become responsible, you take charge of your own destiny.
>> Doreen Umuringa, S6 PCB
She is good as a person. She is always encouraging us, especially when we are down, asking us to improve and focus on what really matters such as academics.
>> Nyirabeza Jane, S6 MEG
She is very caring. In case of wrong doing, she is quick on the advice and slow on punishing. She takes time to find out where we have gone wrong.
>> Rwagatare Aridii, S6 MPC
Our Headmistress is a good person. She was born a leader.
>> Anna Peter, S3A
She is a good leader. She is intuitive when it gets to knowing what we as a school need.