Martyrs Secondary School students strike

Students from Martyrs Secondary School in Remera yesterday refused to attend when schools countrywide reopened for the 2009 academic year. When The New Times visited the school, the students were milling outside their classrooms.

Students from Martyrs Secondary School in Remera yesterday refused to attend when schools countrywide reopened for the 2009 academic year. When The New Times visited the school, the students were milling outside their classrooms.

“They announced this morning during assembly that they had expelled some of our teachers and gave no reasons. When we demanded to know the reasons it caused alarm and the Inspector of Schools came and held a crisis meeting,” said one student.

Details of what was discussed in the ‘crisis meeting’ and its resolutions had not been obtained by press time. In a letter dated December 4 last year, addressed to the Kigali Inspector of Schools, students had demanded that their rights be respected by  the administration.

Some of the problems cited by the students included the sacking of three teachers, mistreatment of teachers and discrimination between French and English speaking students by some teachers. The three teachers sacked are Steven Ndyabagye, Duncan Aruho, and Jim Beingana.

During an interview, the Head Teacher of the Remera-based school, Godfrey Nyirimpeta said that the sacked teachers were undisciplined and never cared to teach students.

Nyirimpeta noted that Steven Ndyabagye who teaches History dodged 129 hours, and Duncan Aruho a Geography teacher missed 90 hours and Jim Beingana 93 hours during the past academic year.

“All this absenteeism could not be justified by the trio,” said the Headmaster.

“We went through proper channels in accordance with the school regulations to sack these teachers over insubordination,” Nyirimpeta added.

He added that the school has in the past gone through a ‘bad history’ that needed to be reversed ‘and some students and teaching staff were resistant to change.’

Canon Peter Twahirwa who represents the Anglican Church, the owners of the school, said as the church was disappointed to see teachers paid to work but were not productive.

“The whole administration was in a mess. At one point we noticed a decline of the school, but we are optimistic and determined this time to succeed,” Twahirwa said.

Martyrs secondary school is a registered school built by the Kigali Anglican Diocese and has Arch-bishop Emmanuel Kolini as its legal representative.

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