Quality assurance: Over 100 schools risk closure

About 108 schools might be closed by the Ministry of Education. (File)

The Ministry of Education yesterday warned that it could close up to 108 primary, secondary as well as technical schools for failing to fulfil basic requirements.

A new report by the ministry says the schools under consideration were found to have poor hygiene, misuse capitation grants, failed to feed students and misuse ICT materials, among others.

The move is the latest in a series of efforts by the ministry to clean up the mess in schools in a bid to ensure quality education.

In August this year, the ministry suspended the operations of 57 schools in a countrywide crackdown but they were later reopened after fulfilling requirements.

Addressing media on Thursday, the Minister for Education, Eugene Mutimura, said that government would not tolerate school administrators who fail to meet the basic requirements.

“There are schools which will not reopen in January if they fail to comply with what we advised them during the inspections we carried out. We will keep approaching them to find out what we can do to help them comply,” he said.

In addition, 31 schools will be audited and investigated for misappropriation of government resources while 17 others need urgent advocacy to properly dispense courses, the minister said.

About 900 primary, secondary and TVET schools and institutions of higher learning were assessed, according to the ministry.

“We don’t ask schools to do what they cannot, we ask them to simply honour their responsibilities,” he said.

The issues that were specifically assessed are school dropout and repetition rates, school leadership, management and teaching as well as learning assessments.

Others are school hygiene and sanitation, use of ICT in teaching and learning and inadequate qualification of some teachers in relation to the subjects among others.

Mutimura also said that similar campaigns will continue and schools that fail to fulfil requirements would face sanctions.

Some school teachers who talked to The New Times acknowledged they did not meet the inspection requirements but expressed optimism that they would have fulfilled them before the deadline.

Jean Basa Ngabo, the Head Teacher at ESSA Ruhengeri in Musanze, said the inspection faulted the school for the poor state of the kitchen and a dining hall.

However, he said that the school has budget constraints, which makes it difficult to raise the money required to renovate the kitchen, dining hall and buy better cooking equipment.

“We needed over Rwf30 million to meet all the requirements but we could not raise it until the inspections started and we were cautioned,” he said.

He said they had secured partnerships with funders, which will ease the pressure.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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