Officials at Byimana School of Science in the Southern Province say they have installed Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras to boost security surveillance after a bout of fire incidents last year.
Some students set fire to the school burnt three times in less than two months and now school managers say they have taken serious measures to keep an eye undisciplined students.
“When they come for the new academic year, our students will find many surprises here; including brand new classrooms, dormitories, and even the burnt buildings that were rehabilitated,” the director, Alphonse Gahima, said on Friday.
He was speaking about preparations to reopen the school yesterday.
He cited CCTV installations among some of the surprises the school’s students will find
“Everything that students will be doing will be monitored,” he said. Gahima said the CCTV cameras were installed in the school laboratories, in the dormitories, at the main gate, and in some other sensitive places in the school compound.
The Sunday Times wondered whether students will not feel uncomfortable being under the camera always, but Gahima responded that “there will be explanations for the intention of the cameras.”
“We shall tell them that we are doing it for their own good and since they know what happened here, I am sure they will like it,” he said.
Beside the security monitors, the school’s director said that more safety infrastructure has been put in place at the school, including fire extinguishers.
By introducing them, Byimana High School is emphasising that security and safety should be every school’s concern, especially after serious cases of indiscipline.
Three students are serving jail sentences ranging from one and half and two years in Muhanga Prison after the court found them guilty of torching the school.
Dormitories and refectories, school movable properties and students’ property was lost in the inferno, and according to the school director, the school rehabilitation activities were estimated at Rwf 700 million.
The school of Sciences is receiving 800 students for this academic year. There were speculations that parents would be reluctant to send their students back to the school, but the director dismissed it.
“We were rather surprised by a high demand of parents who want their students to have a placement here,” he said.
Parents with children in Byimana School said they were sensitised on issues of security and safety, and they understood the need to safeguard the school that provides what they described as “excellent education”.
“We have followed all the challenges and how they were solved. We cannot take our children out of this school that has made a name for quality education,” said Patrick Rugema whose son goes to the school.
Jean-Marie Nahayo, the Executive Secretary of Byimana Sector, has also commended safety measures at the school.
“Parents would be worried if the criminals were not found, but since they are serving their punishment, it reassured parents,” he said.
Nahayo said that officials in Muhanga District where Byimana located have recommended every school in the district to have fire extinguishers among other safety measures.