The heads of schools that use Cogebanque’s technology-based platform, dubbed SchoolGEAR,” have testified that the technology has improved and simplified the schools’ operations, namely school management, disciplinary and timetable management, as well as the accounting system. The schools across the country were testifying after being awarded by Cogebanque for coming on top in using SchoolGEAR technology and other Cogebanque’s services. 'SchoolGEAR', a user-friendly platform, eases the payment of school fees. The awarding ceremony took place in Gicumbi district, Northern Province, where UTAB, a higher learning institution, was awarded. In Musanze district, Cogebanque awarded Ecole Regina Pacis The bank in the southern province awarded Petit Seminaire Virgo Fidelis de Butare, while Nyamirama TVET School was recognized in the eastern province. In Kigali city, Les Hirondelles de Don Bosco, Saint Joseph Kicukiro schools, Rwanda Polytechnic, and École Privée Marie Auxiliatrice [EPMA] were also awarded. The awards include computers, office equipment, and Rwf500,000. The head of Petit Seminaire Virgo Fidelis de Butare, Father Jean de Dieu Habanabasha, said that the technology has reduced errors that used to be committed by accountants. “Most of the operations are currently automatically done,” he said. Father Jean de Dieu, the head of Ecole Regina Pacis, said that three years have already elapsed using the technology. “Before embracing this technology, every student’s receipt was verified manually. Some could even be skipped. Students could also lose their receipts in different circumstances. SchoolGEAR's technology has addressed all of those challenges as it eases and fast-tracks the operations,” he said. For parents, guardians, and students to use the platform, they must have a code given by their school. Every student has their own code, which is different from those of others. Head of Finance at Ecole Les Hirondelles de Don Bosco, Antoine Dusenge, said that this school has a large number of students, which required SchoolGEAR to ease the work of monitoring the school fee payment. He said that given that the technology can be used even at home or anywhere, it has addressed delays and long queues and thus reduced traffic by 80 percent during the school fee payment period. Jean Paul Ininahazwe, the head of Ecole Saint Joseph Kicukiro, noted that although SchoolGEAR is used to pay school fees, it also eases other schools' work. “The platform has a way of monitoring class attendance and a way of communicating with parents. We no longer write letters to parents. We compose a message and send it to all parents,” he testified. Songa Rwamugire, the Acting Commercial Director and Head of Corporate Banking at Cogebanque Plc, commended the schools for adopting SchoolGEAR, which has been useful in easing their work and increasing benefits. “This is the platform that we will maintain and expand so that it addresses all gaps by adding more services. It will help manage the accounting system in schools and classes,” he said. SchoolGEAR has already been rolled out in more than 100 schools across the country, easing different services. Accessing the ‘SchoolGEAR’ platform is free of charge, as it offers to help schools improve the quality of their work as the bank’s beneficiaries. The parents are charged Rwf600 once a term, regardless of the number of transactions they make throughout the whole term. Schools interested in the payment method can visit the nearest Cogebanque branch or call 5050 to learn more about the service. Users can access the platform through Cogebanque’s tellers at its branches, Cogebanque agents, and mobile money by dialing *700# or Cogebanque’s website by clicking on ‘SchoolGEAR’. Cogebanque (Compagnie Générale de Banque Plc) is a Rwanda-based commercial bank licensed by the National Bank of Rwanda. It started operations in 1999. It is one of the fastest-growing banks in Rwanda and today has 28 branches, over 650 agents, and 36 ATMs across the country. These are supported by mobile banking (USSD on *505# and mobile app Coge mBank), cards (MasterCard, Smart Cash, and SafariBus), SchoolGEAR, and internet banking delivery channels accessible through different media. Cogebanque has been serving Rwandan industries for over 24 years with innovative services to its customers, which has positively affected the Rwandan economy. Cogebanque provides a comprehensive range of products and services targeted at corporate, SMEs, and retail customers.