For each examinable subject, six (6) is set to be the highest grade point and zero (0) as the lowest, according to a new grading system which was for the first time used in the recently released national examination results. The move, according to the Minister of Education Valentine Uwamariya, seeks to harmonise the grading system of candidates in all levels of education starting from primary to secondary school. For instance, Uwamariya shared an example saying that 30 points will now be the best mark compared to the previous 5 points for Primary Leaving Examination candidates. This, she said, will mean that the candidate scored 6 points in all the five examinable subjects. For O’Level candidates, the best mark to score has moved from 9 points to 54 points. “This is because S3 students sit for 9 subjects as opposed to 5 in primary,” she reiterated. Also to change is the maximum point for advanced level in Secondary School in all programs across TVET, General education as well as Teacher Training Centers (TTCs), who will score a maximum of 60 points. Minister Uwamariya made the observation on Tuesday September 27, as the Ministry addressed a press conference announcing last year’s national examination results. “The maximum total points achieved by a candidate who excelled in all subjects is achieved by multiplying the value of the highest grade by the number of subjects the candidate sat for,” she added. Education experts who spoke to The New Times said that there have previously been concerns of having a grading system that is unsymmetrical. Levis Karangwa, a former teacher at Excella School based in Kigali, noted that it was high time for the grading system to be introduced, especially looking at the costs. “This was a timely initiative, because a lot of money was being spent and more importantly there were delays and data discrepancies occasioned by the different systems.” “It is a big win because harmonising the process cuts down all unnecessary costs but also offers trusted data,” he added. Meanwhile, there was a big increase in pass rate for candidates who sat for primary examinations, up from 82.8 percent of the previous year to this year’s 90.69 percent. For ordinary level candidates, pass rate decreased from 86.3 percent to 85.66 percent. The number of candidates who register for primary level continues to decrease, while that of their O'Level counterparts increases.