Candidates increase by 17% this year
KIGALI - Primary school children today begin their Primary Leaving Exams (PLE) all over the country.
According to the Rwanda National Examination Council (RNEC), it was confirmed that all preparations for the exams were ready by yesterday.
Speaking to The New Times, the Executive Secretary of RNEC, John Rutayisire, said that this year’s participation in exams had increased by 17 percent compared to the number of candidates last year.
He said a total of 168,473 pupils registered to sit for the national exams this year.
“In the 2007 academic year, 126,326 pupils sat for the exams while last year, 138,245 pupils did the exam,” said Rutayisire.
A total of 2,350 primary schools will participate this year and all candidates will converge in 582 centres around the country.
He added that unlike in the past years where candidates used to sit for only three exams, this year they will sit for five.
According to the time table, candidates will start with Mathematics followed by Social Studies on the first day.
On the second day, they will do Elementary Science/Technology and Kinyarwanda and they will conclude with English.
Statistics from the exams body show that over 95 percent of the candidates will answer their exams in English while the remaining will answer in French as indicated on the registration forms filled by candidates while registering.
However, officials say that this year would be the last where candidates will be given alternatives of the language in which to answer as next year all pupils will be expected to do their exams in English.
Concerning the H1N1 virus scare that had led to the closure of some schools, the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Dr. Mathias Harebamungu, last evening said that the schools that had reported cases had been cleared by the Ministry of Health.
“The two schools that had faced closure due to the influenza have been cleared and they are going to conduct the exams as usual and so far everything is moving on well,” he told The New Times.
Meanwhile the latest statistics from the Ministry of Health indicate that by yesterday, 108 laboratory-confirmed cases of the influenza had been reported while 81 patients have finished treatment and are doing well.
“All Cases that tested positive are receiving appropriate treatment, no severe cases have been reported, and all confirmed cases continue to show mild symptoms,” said a statement from the ministry.