Results for Senior Three and Primary Six national examinations for 2016 were released, yesterday, with the general pass rate showing improvement.
General performance in Ordinary Level examinations results improved 2.24 per cent compared to 2015 national examinations results.
Like last year, girls outperformed their male counterparts in general performance with 52.14 per cent (41,530 candidates) compared to 47.86 per cent (38,125) boys.
The figure represents those who passed in Division One, Two, Three and Four, and thus are qualified to progress to the next level of education.
However, there was no girl among the top 10 O-Level performers countrywide, in a performance dominated by Gasabo District in Kigali with five of the best 10 students.
Nyarugenge District, also from Kigali, had two while Kayonza, Bugesera and Nyamasheke districts managed a student apiece among the 10 best performers countrywide.
The 10 best performers are Sother Mico, Aime Cessaire Mugishawayo, Aime Christian Mucyo, Pacifique Ishimwe, Arnaud Shyaka Igiraneza, Benoit Mazimpaka, Jonan Manzi, Peace Sheja Kabarega, Aime Noel Berwa Niyitegera and Jehovanis Manirakomeye.
Out of 89,421 candidates who sat O-Level national exams last year, 9,766 failed to get the lowest grade that guarantees progression and will have to repeat this year.
A total of 9,597 candidates (representing 11 per cent) got Division One, a one per cent increase from 2015 results.
Of these, 37.75 per cent (3,623) students are girls, with boys nearly doubling the Division One pass rate for their female counterparts with 62.25 per cent (5,974).
Isaac Munyakazi, the minister of state for primary and secondary education, while announcing the examination results, acknowledged that the minimal improvement registered this year represents “a commendable” improvement that can be based on to aim for bigger improvements.
“Are we happy with the results? Yes we are. It is a good performance to have 89 per cent of candidates pass their exams. But even that remaining (11 percent failure) concerns us and we really have to work hard to make sure that every student passes their exams,” he said.
“To have one per cent increase in Division One is something we are proud of too, but, certainly, we can have better results.”
‘Girls catching up’
Janvier Gasana, the director-general of Rwanda Education Board (REB), said having majority of girls qualify for A-Level compared to their male counterparts is an indication that girls are “catching up” on the previous male dominance, which he said reflects the dividends of women and girl empowerment policies that have been streamlined across all sectors.
“The results are based on merit and girls earned what they have,” Gasana said.
“Our policies have been to encourage girls to feel that they can equally compete with boys and beat them if they believe in themselves. These results, therefore, show that the sense of empowerment is earning dividends and we have to congratulate our girls for the job well done.”
However, he noted that the results should not create a perception that boys are drastically falling behind girls but rather that the latter are catching up.
Minister Munyakazi called on parents and teachers to continue supporting their children and offering a conducive environment to enable improved performance.
High incidents of malpractice
Munyakazi said there were several cases where candidates and examination supervisors got involved in malpractices and, subsequently, their results were nullified.
At least 465 incidents of malpractice were reported in 2016 O-Level national exams. This represents more than 50 per cent increase from last year’s, where 206 cases were reported.
Nyaruguru District had the highest numbers of malpractice.
Malpractices involved both candidates and heads of examination centres and invigilators—who were involved in unlawful acts of assisting candidates answer questions, according to Emmanuel Muvunyi, the deputy director-general of REB.
This, Muvunyi said, undermines efforts to gauge education standards.
Selection of students for Senior One and Senior Four are expected to commence immediately, according to Munyakazi.
By the end of the week, students will have known which schools they have been allocated to join, said the minister.
“We are doing everything so fast to allow students proceeding to the new education levels start when schools open on January 23,” Gasana said.