A total of 457,310 students will sit for their national examinations across the country, a significant increase from last year’s 400,500, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Education. The increase represents 14.2% of last year’s figure according to the Director-General of Rwanda Education Board (REB), Dr. Irenee Ndayambaje. The candidates include those who will sit for Primary Leaving Examinations, Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations that will start on November 4. The figures show that 286,087 candidates will be sitting for their primary leaving examinations, implying a 12% per cent increase from last year’s 255,578 candidates. With 131,748 number of boys and 154,339 number of girls. In the category of Ordinary Level, there are 119,932 candidates, which represents an increase of 21 per cent from the 98,898 candidates who sat last year. Among these, 65,429 are girls and 54,503 boys. On the other hand, for the secondary school leavers, a total of 51,291 candidates have been registered which shows an increase of 11% increase from last year’s 46,024. According to Alphonse Sebaganwa, the head of examinations, selection and assessment department at REB, everything has been done to ensure the examination process goes as smoothly as possible despite the significant increase in the candidates. He pointed out that security of these exams is guaranteed by Rwanda National Police, and that invigilators have been trained to ensure the exercise is incident-free. “Exams are protected from the beginning to the end to ensure cases of malpractices are minimised and that there is no leakage or delays,” he adds. Primary Leaving Examinations are scheduled early next month from November 4 to 6. Ordinary level candidates will sit for theirs between 12th and 19th of the same month. For Advanced Level candidates, the exams will start from November 12 through 19. Ndayambaje also reiterated that among other efforts to ensure fruitful examinations, teachers are called upon to carry their responsibilities at their best. “This is a moment when teachers need to instill confidence in their students, revise with them everything they studied, discourage absence of students and teach them the rules and regulations of the exam” he said. Maurice Twahirwa, the headteacher at APADET primary school in Kanombe Sector said that all is set for the candidates who have been in an intense revision for the past full year. “Our students are yet again ready to excel in the Primary Leaving Examinations and with about 10 days to the exams, there is a lot of revision going on to attain better grades as an institution,” Twahirwa said.