83 per cent pass O-Level national exams

Of the 99,209 students who sat for lower secondary education (ordinary level) national examinations in 2018, 83.3 per cent (80,966 candidates) passed compared to 89.9 per cent of 98,249 students in 2017.

Of those who passed (from Division I to IV), 51.9 per cent (41,990) were girls. 10 per cent passed in Division 1 totalling 9,612 candidates compared to 11.14 per cent in 2017.


This year, boys outperformed girls in Division one with 60.6 per cent (5,825) being male candidates.


The 6.6 per cent decrease in general pass rate—as compared to 2017—of the O’ level is attributed to the introduction of the new Competence based Curriculum (CBC), where both pupils and teachers were using this curriculum for the first time, according to the Minister for Education, Eugene Mutimura.


“Despite the decrease in general performance, we should be proud of our children’s performance because this was the first time they were being examined under the newly introduced Competence based Curriculum,

“We are proud of the fact that teachers and students adapted to changes real fast and these changes are aimed to improve the quality of our education system,” Mutimura said.

Awarding star performers

Quite unique scenes were seen at the Ministry of Education headquarters, in Kigali, where 10 Best performers in O’ level and Primary Six were accompanied by their parents to receive awards from the ministry.

Each top performer walked away with the made-in-Rwanda Positivo laptops.

The Minister for Education, Eugene Mutimura, sad that this year apart from awarding the 10 best performing students in P6 and S3 national examinations, they would also recognize best performing schools, but mainly those in rural areas who beat the odds to outperform urban-centric schools.

“In future we are planning to select the best performing schools countrywide, but put emphasis on the rural-centred schools which would have performed better despite minimal resources,” Mutimura said.

The practice of recognising best performing schools had been stopped in the recent past, where custodians claimed that it encouraged unfair competition.

Mutimura also noted that awarding the best 10 performing students with laptops is geared towards inspiring great performance and also as a sign of government’s vision to move to a digital economy, and use of ICT as a major pillar of digital economic transformation.

This was the first time the educators releases the results before the end of the year in which the candidates sat for the exams. In previous years, results were released in January.

Isaac Munyakazi, the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education told journalists that this aims at giving ample time to both parents and schools to get ready for the next academic year.

“We want to make sure that school selection exercise starts in real time and ensure that students are fairly dispersed in all schools across the country. We don’t want to have cases of only bright students going to a few schools. We want to enforce dynamism and collective performance in all schools,” Munyeshyaka said.


78 Ordinary Level candidates’ results were withheld because of examination malpractices which decreased from 83 in 2017.

Munyakazi said that while some students are welcome to appeal the withholding of their results, the ministry would investigate and suspend teachers involved in facilitating malpractices.


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