Literature teachers optimistic about students’ grades even with limited resources

Students of Lycee de Muhura School in Gatsibo District being briefed before examinanations last year. Photos by Kelly Rwamapera

Literature teachers say they expect good grades from the first students to be examined under the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) despite teaching with limited resources.

Literature is taught in O’ and A’ levels whose national examinations are scheduled November 20-30, when the first group under the CBC programme will be examined.


Rwanda Education Board implemented the Competency Based Curriculum in 2016.


Teachers of literature say they did not have enough textbooks but got books online and printed copies for students.


Students of Groupe Scholaire Kitazigurwa in Rwamagana District Eastern Province.  

For example, at Groupe Scholaire Bisika in Gicumbi District, Northern Province, they did not receive any copies of some of the novels and plays, says Jean Paul Twahirwa, a literature teacher at the school.

“We didn’t receive any copies of ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’ and ‘The Crucible’ but we got the books on the REB website and surfed the internet for more notes. But we’re hopeful our students will pass with flying colours,” says Twahirwa.

Joan Murungi, the head of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Resources Department at REB, says the institution is preparing to print all necessary textbooks this financial year.

“We’re aware of the scarcity of books and we had planned to publish books this December but we were challenged by the fact that we have not secured all copyrights for the textbooks,” she says.

Murungi says the institution has already made designs of the books they secured copyright for and are pending for print.

She says that the books whose copyrights have been purchased were uploaded to the website such that schools can access them as they wait for printing.

Yustin Dusabimana, a literature teacher at Mukungu Secondary School in Karongi District, Western Province, and Theophile Harerimana at Groupe Scholaire Nyarubuye in Gatsibo District, compliment special trainings organised by districts for literature teachers.

“We met as teachers of literature and shared technical knowhow, especially because we had few books,” Harerimana says.

However, some teachers expressed concern that due to scarcity of textbooks, some questions as usually examined might challenge the students.

“Regarding examining literature technical analysis, we’re sure students will pass but challenges will be in questions that require a student to place an excerpt from a book,” says Twahirwa.

Placing an excerpt from a book is when a student is given a passage from a book and asked to tell what comes before and after the passage in the book.

Murungi says REB is also looking at ‘smart classrooms’ to solve the problem of books scarcity as they will be using online books for everyone.

“In the next three years, we’ll have increased smart classrooms in the country and all our books will be e-books for easy accessibility,” she says.

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