Textbooks stuck at district HQ’s

•Schools open without new English teaching material The distribution of new text books across the country for use in the reformed education curriculum, has not reached many schools despite having reopened last Monday.
 NCDC boss Charles Gahima
NCDC boss Charles Gahima

•Schools open without new English teaching material

The distribution of new text books across the country for use in the reformed education curriculum, has not reached many schools despite having reopened last Monday.

Charles Gahima, the Executive Director, of the National Curriculum Development Centre [NCDC], revealed that the books were delayed in the district stores and ended up not getting to some of the schools on time.

“We use districts as transit for delivery of these textbooks to the respective schools. They are supposed to be there for a short time and later distributed to schools, but they are delayed at the districts,” he said.

However, when contacted some district officials feigned ignorance of this arrangement, saying they were never informed that they would be part of the distribution process.

In a telephone interview with Pascal Butunge, the Vice-Mayor for Musanze district, he confirmed to The New Times, that they were not informed about the distribution of the textbooks to schools in their area.

“We were never informed of the changes in distribution. They hired private companies to bring us the books.

They just brought them here and we don’t even have book stores and they do not even tell us the number of books they have sent,” he said.

However, Gahima explained that they only contracted a distribution company to meet conditions set by the World Bank which donated the books.

“For other books from the centre, we send them through the districts.

Their having no stores is not our business,” he said.

Gahima further explained that the method of distributing text books changed after NCDC found that distributing them directly to the schools was more expensive than decentralizing the process to the district level.

He noted that with the use of the capitation fund, districts are expected to be able to collect text books from the NCDC for distribution to the recipient schools.

However, Vincent Ngaboyisonga, the Director in charge of Education in Gasabo district, said that they received the books and delivered them to their respective schools.

“We received the consignment a month ago and distributed them,” he said.

Ngaboyisonga pointed out that they did not receive communication from NCDC, but when books arrived, they stored them and distributed them to relevant schools.

With most schools countrywide having been teaching in French, the NCDC was tasked with translating the material into English and quickly distribute them.

They also had to develop instructional material for newly introduced courses like entrepreneurship.

Barthazar Nsengiyumva, the headmaster of Groupe Scolarie Notre Dame de la Salle in Gicumbi district, said that they had received the text books but they were inadequate.

“We are usually called by the district to go and collect books as they arrive, but they are still not enough,” he told The New Times in an interview.

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