It was all smiles and appreciation as parents, students and the administration of G.S Mere du Verbe Kibeho were officially handed two flats that will act as dormitories (housing facilities) for students of the school. The buildings were constructed by David and Laurea Stirling of the Stirling Foundation.
Students from the US pose with officials at the school.
The dormitories, one for girls and the other for boys, cost a total of Rwf 1.5 billion in construction, labour and fitting of all necessary requirements, such as showers, sinks for laundry, wardrobes, beds, mattresses, among others.
Speaking yesterday at the inauguration of the buildings, the head teacher of G.S Mere du Verbe Kibeho, Sister Maria Marie Bridgette Uwizera, said that she was truly grateful for the facilities her school has been blessed with. She noted that this would go a long way in ensuring that the students have a better environment for learning.
“A good syllabus, food and professional teachers alone cannot guarantee excellent grades from students if the housing facilities are in a sorry state,” she said.
“One has to have had a good night’s sleep after school work so as to be productive the following morning,” she continued.
The school was established in 1968 and most of its buildings are over 50 years old, and so the acquisition of these two dormitories has given the school a new look and obviously, improved the sleeping facilities of the students.
Speaking to The New Times on Saturday, Laurea Stirling noted that it is a basic human right for every child to have access to education, and with her husband, the idea to build the facilities came after learning about the dire situation at the school.
“When I first came here, I looked at where the students used to shower from and I felt really touched. They had no piped water, they were using buckets for their laundry and showering and I instantly new that something had to be done,’’ she said.
A performance by the choir of the school.
Nadine Ishimwe, a student at the school in S3, said she was amazed because of the facilities her school received, saying this will provide a conducive environment for them.
She notes students were facing issues regarding dormitories as the ones they were previously occupying were not fit for them to sleep in; they were not spacious and the bathrooms were outside and water was not always available.
She, however, added that the ones they have been blessed with are big enough, with wardrobes where every student can keep his/her belongings. Ishimwe also said that she is excited about the modern and fancy laundry set up, limiting their use of buckets like it was previously.
Francois Mutabazi, a father of two at the school, was lost for words after he saw the structures that his children were going to be sleeping in going forward.
He says that as a parent, knowing where his children are sleeping and knowing how comfortable it is makes him happy and well assured of good grades from the children.
“You know there is a way other factors, such as the environment, play a big role in ensuring that children perform well in school, so as a parent, I am excited,’’ he told The New Times.