Sake’s unique model designed to improve education quality

Jean Marie Vianney Habarurema, leader of Nyagasozi Village in Rukoma Cell, explains the importance of the initiative. / Jean de Dieu Nsabimana

Once inside a special room at Sake Secondary School in Sake Sector, Ngoma District, it would not take one long to know everything about the school even without asking anyone for everything has been pinned up for all.

Inside that room, you will find the school’s performance in the previous national examinations, experience and telephone numbers of the teaching staff, a list of the absentee teachers and students, dropouts, among other statistics.

This is part of data centre policy operational since last month in the sector, which is made of four cells with a population of 27,366, where its 34 villages and seven schools have particular rooms for information.

This, according to the sector officials, has proven to enhance performance in class and a decrease in school dropout cases and absenteeism of students and teachers in schools.

Victor Jemadari, the headmaster of Sake Secondary School, said: “The role of the room is to show our different stakeholders how the school is performing and to allow everyone to access information effortlessly”.

“In teaching and learning, when you have already identified the weak areas, you are able to take the necessary measures,” he stated adding that this goes a long way in uplifting the quality of education.”

“Since the room shows the performances of the students when a student finds themselves on the list of poor performers, they will work harder to move from the list,” he added.

Jean de Dieu Ndamyumugabe, a language teacher for the last six years, said that identifying the absent students or dropouts, will fuel partnership with local leaders to swiftly handle the issues.

“Since data is there, the local leaders will find it easy to help us bring the student back to school,” he said.

When a teacher is also absent without explanation, calling them out by way of pinning their name will bring about change.

When you are rebuked, you know that you have to improve,” he added.

Josephine Nyirubuyanja, 45, chairperson of parents’ association at Nshiri Primary School, said that parents did not know the going-ons in their school and the room gives an update of the school any parent may need.

“The room is more informative,” she noted, though she said only a few parents come to school to follow up on the education of their children.

Samuel Mugabe Kayitare, Inspector of Humanities at the Ministry of Education, said the initiative will work, and once enhanced, it can be good practice for other schools all over the country to borrow a leaf.

“There is an English saying, ‘Information is power’, when you have information, it makes you achieve a lot,” he said.

“It is a programme that needs to be supported, leave alone having been introduced in Sake, it can spread out in the whole province and country,” he pointed out.

Similar rooms in villages

This does not just stop with schools.

In every village, the data about that village is made accessible from selected community healthcare worker. That allows the people seeking healthcare services to get information, according to Jean Marie Vianney Habarurema, leader of Nyagasozi Village in Rukoma Cell.

The data shows that their village has 158 households and 618 people, six pregnant women, 14 persons with disabilities. 65 families are in the family planning programme, and that 285 were diagnosed with malaria last year.

The village also had four families in conflicts, and since they are named, it pushes them to sort out of their wrangles.

“When a resident comes in and sees themselves on the list of families in conflicts, they feel ashamed and commit to change,” he said.

“We usually had the data, but they were not public. But after this room was started, I found that it was good, because you easily track the progress in every service. It can allow me to say, ‘Where are we now? Where have we been and where are we heading? Or, where will we be tomorrow?’” explained Sister Maria Godeberta Uwimana, head of the Rukoma/Sake Health Centre.