There was slight improvement in girls’ general performance in the just-released Senior Six results as compared to the previous year, while the boys’ performance declined marginally.
According to the 2016 A-Level examination results released by the Education ministry on Tuesday, girls’ pass rate moved up from 51.9 per cent in 2015 to 52.5 per cent in 2016.
The general pass rate was registered at 89.5 per cent, a 0.3 per cent improvement from the 2015 performance.
In general terms, boys performed better than girls with 93 per cent passing the national exams, while 86.5 per cent of the female candidates passed.
Of the 41240 candidates who sat Senior Six exams, 18,859 (representing 45.7 per cent of the entire candidates) were boys, while 22,381 (54.3 per cent) were girls.
At least 792 were private candidates.
In total, 36,916 candidates who sat A-Level exams acquired the minimum points required to join institutions of higher learning.
Only three in 21 best candidates in science combinations are girls.
About 10 girls feature among the best 43 candidates in arts combinations, while only one girl is among the best six candidates in language combination.
The figure shows a slight decrease of about 2.3 per cent in the number of candidates who sat the national examination in 2016 compared to the previous year (42,111 candidates).
There was a general decrease in the number of both male and female candidates who sat Senior Six examinations compared to 2015.
While presenting the results in Kigali, the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Isaac Munyakazi, explained that the decrease was due to the government policy of encouraging more students to join vocational institutions.
“We are seeing the number of students who join vocational institutions increasing time and again. This is really good, since the government policy is to encourage skills development.
“This shift from general education to vocational training is something we encourage. We want a mindset change, right from parents and guardians to other stakeholders, including media; encouraging young people to get to know that vocational training is actually a better option as regards national development agenda and high chances of job opportunities and job creation,” Munyakazi said.
Under the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme, students are encouraged to join as soon as they complete O-Level.
There was also a notable increase of about 0.2 per cent in the number of private candidates who sat the national exams in 2016 as compared to 2015.
Responding to the question as to why the Ministry of Education no longer ranks schools, Munyakazi said that stakeholders are due to come up with a new criteria to grade best performing schools “based on different benchmarks, and not just examination results.”
“We want to come up with a unique way of ranking schools based on discipline, hygiene, teachers’ performance and, if necessary, examination performance. This is something we are working on and we will send the criteria to all schools and allow them to incorporate it in the system this academic year.”