The City of Kigali and over 200 stakeholders in the education sector met and discussed the evaluation of the year 2012 - 2013 and way forward yesterday at Hilltop Country Club, Remera.
Dominating was a call to every school to endeavour improve the quality of education in their respective schools while inculcating reading culture among students and creating a decent studying environment.
The Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr. Mathias Harebamungu told participants that schools in Kigali should have no reason for not excelling.
“The city is home to many good things and education has to be included as well”, he said, while also making it clear that instruction has to be in the mother tongue for the first three years of primary school, which, he said, is a UNESCO recommendation for effective quality education.
The city Mayor Fidele Ndayisaba, reiterated the same when he insisted that schools in Kigali have access to all the necessary infrastructures, didactic materials, libraries etc and therefore ought to be performing well.
On his side, Emmanuel Rutayisire, the Director General of the Rwanda Education Board (REB) said “the quality of education does not concern only the education ministry or REB, but it concerns each and every stake holder in the education sector.”
He also told the gathering that included head teachers, education officers from different districts and sectors, and publishers that very soon there will an overhaul of the education curriculum to shift the focus from knowledge to competence and skills.
As far as peer evaluation is concerned, the city conducted an assessment of the schools aiming at weighing their progress in a research that involved all the details in the institutions daily business.
They considered school leadership, didactic materials, the school and its environment, the students conduct, etc.
John Mugabo, in charge of Waste Management in the department of hygiene and environment protection in city of Kigali indicated that, though some schools have improved in hygiene, many challenges still exist in others.
“In some schools, the state of the toilets is alarming, the classrooms are dirty,” he said. “In others, food is stored inappropriately which can lead to contamination, others have no pavement or gardens or they do not take care of them”.
Jennifer Turatsinze, director general of Kigali Library Service on her side introduced the participants to a new page, the reading culture. She encouraged schools to consider visiting the library and to
understand how it works and how it can facilitate them to access books.
Schools like Kagarama Secondary School, Nu Vision High School and Riviera High School were commended for having embraced the reading culture by subscribing to The New Times daily newspaper. At the meeting, the participants also learnt more about the paper’s education product, Education Times.
The function ended with the prize giving ceremony where the best schools and students were awarded various gifts courtesy of Fountain Publishers, The New Times Publications and the City Council of Kigali.
In the primary section, Well Spring Academy emerged the best while Lycee de Kigali was the best in the secondary category. Both schools walked away with a trophy and a cheque of Rwf 10m each.
The New Times Publication also awarded a one year free subscription to FAWE Girls’ School to boost the reading culture and a gift to Christine Asiimwe, a student from Lycee Notre Dame de Citeaux.