Many students hold a tainted image of boarding school in a way that isn’t necessarily accurate. These depictions are somewhat exaggerated and unfortunately push many to refrain from going to boarding school.
However, what needs to be clear is that what boarding school has to offer is a variety of benefits that mostly aids students.
Emmanuel Mugisha, a senior five student at Lycee de Kigali comments from experience saying that boarding school has widened his vision towards various important life aspects.
According to him, boarding schools are primarily important in building up the spirit of unity, teamwork and cooperation among students.
“I believe these three aspects are very essential for any community to get to an upward trend,” he says.
John Nzayisenga, Director of Kigali Harvest School says one of the basic purposes of education is making good citizens ready to stand firm for development.
He says without unity, teamwork and cooperation, it is not easy for any team or community to progress.
“Boarding schools are hence important in unleashing students’ potential via the moral principles learned as they are able to apply them for effective choices,” he says.
Another important aspect earned in boarding schools, he says is time management and structural planning.
He explains that various students start their life in boarding schools without even a single idea on how to set and follow a time table.
“Time is money, with boarding schools; time weighs worth more than money. This is why it should be handled with more respect, for it favours punctuality,” he adds.
Nzayisenga also says that with boarding schools, it is very easy when it comes to structural planning due to the fact that every activity has its own corresponding duration.
“It is not easy to achieve a goal without structural planning yet this, matters a lot for a given dream to turn into reality.”
Emmy Ntigurirwa, a Swahili and English teacher at GS Ruramba, Nyaruguru District, believes that in boarding schools, students are kept distant from all sorts of distractions such as telephones, televisions, play stations, and other materials that can reduce their academic concentration.
“Where there is no focus, perfection is never easy to achieve. This is why boarding schools are the right place in helping students to build focus,” he says.
Another important and inspiring thing with boarding schools is access to sports and leisure activities, he says.
These two aspects according to him help a lot in mental relaxation. “Sports is an important tool for good health, the brain is also always able to understand and memorise various academic courses learned by a student.”
Ntigurirwa however notes that there are a few disadvantages that come with boarding schools such as cultural diversity, which can apparently be a door to various immoral behaviours such as alcoholism, prostitution, robbery, among other vices.
He however notes that determination is important for students to pave a path for pure achievement because with boarding school, it is not that hard to block certain distractions that can otherwise cause hindrance.
He also says that it’s the role of both teachers and parents to ensure that learners are supported socially, emotionally and psychologically.
Another negative aspect that comes with boarding schools is that parental guidance is edged at a limit. This implies that parents can hardly guide their children, he says.