Some days ago we broached the subject of 57 secondary schools that had been suspended for a number of reasons, most of them regarding poor infrastructure, hygiene and administrative shortcomings.
Some of the schools, it could be said, were facing serious financial constraints and were overwhelmed by the task of putting their institutions in order, but it seems that is not the case.
The big surprise is that even some of the more established schools, the cradle of this country’s top leadership, are on the list.
With nearly 90 percent of schools run by religious organisations, especially the Catholic Church which has the lion’s share, finances were not the issue, nor were they still struggling to fit in.
How can one explain that elite schools that have been there for many decades fall into that category? How can one explain that College St. Andre in Nyamirambo, College Officiele de Butare that has been there since colonial times and has one of the highest pedigree, Collège Ste Marie Reine Kabgayi, College Sainte Marie of Kibuye and even the famous Adventist College of Rwankeri are topping the shame list?
Bedbugs, poor hygiene, especially in the kitchens and toilets, and not having enough provisions in their stores is not shortage of money, it is the mindset. Poor planning could be a key element but it is very elementary that hundreds of students cannot live in an environment that simply needs the common sense of picking up a broom.
Maybe it is time to sit down with key education stakeholders, such as the churches, to get them to put their houses in order, not individual heads of schools because at the end of the day the final decision lies with those who call the shots.