How did I succeed? Former candidates share their success stories

Results of students who sat last year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) and lower secondary education were released on December 31.

Some of the students that excelled share their journey to success with Education Times’ Joan Mbabazi.

Bernice Kamikazi is an 11-year-old Kigali Parents’ School leaver who got six aggregates. She scored 1 in Math, 1 in Science, 1 in Social Studies, 1 in English and 2 in Kinyarwanda.

What enabled her to pass was maximising her free time for revision and consulting her teachers whenever she needed clarification or further explanation. Her teachers were supportive as they gave candidates revision exercises every day; this prepared them for the examinations.

“I am ready for secondary school as I have to work extremely hard to achieve my dream of becoming an engineer,” she says.

Sylvia Agatako emerged 23rd in the whole country in Ordinary Level examinations with aggregate eight. The student of Maranyundo Girls School, Nyamata, scored 1 in English, 1 in Biology, 1 in Chemistry, 1 in Entrepreneurship, 1 in Geography, 1 in History, 1 in Maths and 1 in Physics.

She explained that her determination, hard work, continuous revision, teamwork, and prayer enabled her to excel. She focused more on her weakest subjects and did extensive research. Her favourite subject is maths.

“I want to do physics, chemistry and math at advanced level as this will enable me pursue my dream of becoming an engineer. I am looking forward to unique innovations and engaging myself in activities that will find solutions to the problems we face in Rwanda and outside Rwanda. I believe change begins with me,” she says.

Orlyse Ineza scooped 13 place countrywide in the ordinary level examinations. The 13-year-old student at Maranyundo Girls School, Nyamata, scored aggregate eight. She achieved 1 in English, 1 in Biology, 1 in Chemistry, 1 in Entrepreneurship, 1 in Geography, 1 in History, 1 in Maths and 1 in Physics.

She hopes to do maths, physics and geography at advanced level as she wants to be an astronaut.

“I give credit to my teachers who provided the necessary academic support when we consulted them. Having a timetable also helped me put in order revision time, and I also used my time efficiently. However, if it wasn’t for hard work and sacrifice, I wouldn’t have made it,” Ineza says.

Ryan Gatsinzi Udatinya, a former pupil of Little Bears Montessori School, Kigali, says his success was a shock to him and his parents. He managed to get eight in PLE yet he had never scored anything close to that before. He was the best at his school.

He scored 2 in Maths, 1 in Science, 1 in English, 3 in Kinyarwanda and 1 in Social Studies.

Udatinya says that his victory was due to personal coaching he got from teachers in all subjects. His parents made sure that they hired teachers to provide special training for him and bought him pamphlets that he revised.

His father is his role model, since he is a surgeon; he also looks forward to becoming one. That is why he wants to take on science subjects. Udatinya’s prayer is to travel the world and treat sick people.