EDITORIAL: Confusion in the education sector can be avoided

The beginning of a new school year always comes with its own problems, beginning with parents who have to solve the school fees puzzle immediately after the festive season.

Public transport is another area that experiences severe disruption as priority is always given to students returning to school. But people have now learned to plan their upcountry travels without coinciding with the back-to-school calendar.

It is true some of the problems are inevitable but others are self-inflicted and can be avoided by planning, down to the smallest detail. But, unfortunately, that seems to have eluded education officials.

The chaos that greeted the beginning of the academic year was another indication that no sooner one issue is solved in the education sector than another one pops up that seems to have taken stakeholders off guard.

It first began with Rwanda Education Board and the Ministry of Education deciding that they would have a say regarding which schools new students would be sent to. Schools would no longer have the final say.

It seemed very straight forward at the beginning, but all that got shot out of the air when the time to implement the policy came.

It fell upon District Education Officers to forward the number of places available in their areas of jurisdiction, and that is where the first problems began to appear. Many officers sent wrong figures causing pandemonium in some schools.

Many schools were overwhelmed. One school received 125 new students yet it had places for only 80, so education officials ran around trying to rearrange the distribution of places. School administrators, on the other hand, were busy trying to put their houses in order that they failed to start classes on time.

Honestly, education stakeholders can do better than that