School closed, students demand tuition refund

SOUTHERN PROVINCE RUHANGO — District officials have closed Centre Polytechnique la Trinité (CPT) in Ruhango sector, after the school reportedly failed to meet education requirements.

SOUTHERN PROVINCE

RUHANGO — District officials have closed Centre Polytechnique la Trinité (CPT) in Ruhango sector, after the school reportedly failed to meet education requirements.

Vedaste Mugemanyi, the vice mayor of social affairs, on Monday confirmed the closure saying; the school authorities had defied district education policies and couldn’t meet the education requirements.

CPT is a private school owned by JMV Usengumuremyi, and has two sections: O’ level and vocational section. The latter section was the most affected because it reportedly lacked proper classrooms, equipment and poor sanitation.

This is the second time to close the school by district authorities on similar grounds; the first time having been in 2006. After the closure in 2006, Usengumuremyi is said to have secretly re-opened his school and defiantly enrolled students in the technical section last year, against the district education policy.

This recent closure was prompted after students enrolled for ‘A’ level in 2007/8, were allocated the vacational section.

The students reported the matter to police and district education officials demanding refund of their tuition.

"The district has asked the school authorities not to enroll any students in the technical section until the requirements are met and have ordered CPT authorities to close the section and refund tuition for at least 150 students," Mugemanyi said.

He added: "we condemned the school authorities for illegally enrolling students under the guise that they [students] would join ‘A’ level."

When The New Times sought comments from Usengumuremyi, the school proprietor, he declined to comment on the matter claiming he was not available. "I am not available," he said, before switching off his phone. Sources say he is on the run.

Some teachers, who asked not to be named, believe Usengumuremyi had neglected the education requirements, has been diverting school funds into his personal business, and delays to pay teachers’ salaries.

"The school has enough teachers, and students have no problem with learning, however, the school administrator (Usengumuremyi) has been diverting school funds into his enterprises (Hotel Pacis), he neglected teachers and school requirements," one teacher said on Tuesday.

The teachers also confirmed that the school has refunded fees to students and many have been enrolled in other schools in Ruhango.

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