The School of Agriculture and Veterinary –Ntendezi (EAV-Ntendezi) located in the Western Province district of Nyamasheke is housed in some of the best modern structures in the district.
From a distance, a first time visitor is struck by the imposing architecture of the school, but there is more than meets the eye as The New Times’ PAUL NTAMBARA found out.
Inaugurated in 1993, EAV Ntendezi was built by the government of China through the China-Rwanda cooperation as an inscription on the school’s foundation stone indicate. The entrance stands out from the rest of the school structures because of a new coat of paint probably solicited from a nearby construction site.
Beyond this point, the sorry state of the school begins to unfold, one is welcomed by a nauseating stench emanating from the nearby flash toilets, and a venture into one of the rooms reveals broken toilet facilities as urine flows freely on the floor, there is no running water.
And this is not all; broken windowpanes, cobwebs and classroom walls which vividly show that the school buildings have not gone beyond their first coat of paint.
The student’s hostels are not any better either. The hallways are dark and windowpanes have been replaced by dirty, faded, blue curtains.
There is little consolation from the school gardens which have not escaped the general neglect of the school, they are overgrown with bush.
The school employs one permanent cleaner while the rest of the clean up work is done by students.
The surging student numbers have not helped the situation either. From a planned student population of 426, the school now accommodates 802 students after introducing Ordinary and Advanced level secondary school sections.
“We are financially constrained,” said Faustin Ntirenganya, a finance officer at the school, “we rely on money from parents to run the school which is not enough.”
The official said that the school has annual budget of Rwf104 million with every student paying Rwf30,000 as school fees every school term. The biggest chunk of this money is earmarked for food
No funds for rehabilitation
According to Ntirenganya, the school administration conducted an assessment of what it would cost to give the school a facelift.
“We made a needs assessment and realised that it would cost us about Rwf48 million to repair the school structures.
We have requested each parent to contribute Rwf5, 000 but we will also require the support of other organisations if we are to execute this plan,” the official said.
District authorities aware
To ease the pressure on the flash toilets at the school, the district has funded the construction of pit latrines that will be used this academic year.
The district Mayor, Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, in a telephone interview acknowledged the numerous challenges the school is faced with but stressed that there are other more pressing needs.
“We are currently preoccupied with the construction of classrooms for the nine year basic education programme, we will look into this school’s problems once we are done with the construction,” he said.