On Friday, May 1, the government of Rwanda announced that, due to COVID-19 pandemic, schools will resume in September 2020.
Schools have been effectively closed since March 14th when Rwanda recorded its first COVID-19 case.
As a result, according to the Ministry of Education, apart from exploring online learning services, national exams were cancelled and primary and secondary schools academic year is practically cancelled.
The New Times has approached students who were planning for national exams and those who were set to start university studies and asked their reactions towards the latest development.
Manzi Daniel, Senior 3, Groupe Scolaire Byimana
I have been preparing for national exams for long. It is unfortunate that it was cancelled. But on the bright side, I have additional time to prepare academically to get better. During this additional time at home, I will try to take short courses and revise to make sure I excellently pass.
Raphael Tuyisenge, Senior 3, Groupe Scolaire Christ Roi
I did not expect that the whole academic year and national exams would be cancelled. But I understand that it is for our own good. I will continue revising so that when we resume classes, I will have become even better. For today, I think what needs to be focused on is to support vulnerable people to adjust.
Theophilla Uwase, university candidate
I am not surprised because this is not just for our country. The pandemic is global and real. I had already applied to different universities and I am now obliged to wait until 2021. I think the only thing we can do is to embark on online learning, take courses and play our respective roles in fighting against the pandemic.
Jessica Niwuyiduha, University of Rwanda, International Relations
It is really unfortunate that we will have to wait for many more months. What concerns me more is that e-learning is not as effective. But I will do my best and exploit the internet and read books about my faculty. I hope by the time I go back to school, I will have learnt a lot.
Gabriel Sezibera Tuyisenge, Senior 4, Groupe Scolaire Marie Merci Kibeho
It is sad that this year is cancelled for me. I was excited to start advanced level next year. However, I understand the cause for this, everyone is affected by the pandemic in one way or another. I am planning on using this additional time to strengthen my talent to sing and continue revising.
Phiona Uwase, university candidate
I think this an additional time to work on my application and apply to more universities. It is also a good time to work on my skills by taking courses online or vocational training. The major issue will be faced by students who cannot access internet; if every students was facilitated to access internet, we would make the next few months even more productive.
Nadia Lobti, international student at University of Rwanda, Journalism and Communication
It is going to be hard, especially for me, I come from Cameroon and I cannot go back because the borders are closed. To occupy myself during this time, I will take online courses until we are able to go back to class.
For e-learning, I think the University of Rwanda should improve so that we get actual lectures virtually. They can also help us get occupied by initiating online competition or talent exhibitions.
Jean D’ Amour Tuyishime, university candidate
I had already applied to some universities and it is sad that this academic year is cancelled. But all Rwandans are affected. Therefore I think all we can do is to put together and contain the virus until we are able to go to school.