Scores of students whose results were withheld by the Rwanda Education Board (Reb) have since Tuesday been visiting the examinations board offices to demand their results.
There was a visible desperation among students, parents and some head teachers from different places that this paper found at the Reb offices yesterday.
Olivier Rwamukwaya, the state minister in charge of primary and secondary education, said on Monday that there was a significant reduction in malpractices during last year’s examinations.
For instance, 88 cases were registered in 2014 compared to 1324 cases in primary during 2013 final exams. Those for secondary also dropped from 203 in 2013 to 93 in 2014.
Students who were suspected of involvement in exam malpractice had their results withheld.
Reb remains cagey on the number of students whose results were withheld but The New Times found dozens of affected students at Reb offices on Wednesday and Thursday.
As well as demanding their results, the students were asking answers how their results were withheld as their colleagues who got the results celebrated their success.
Some students said they had tried to access their results through SMS system and on Reb web site but on entering their index number only received irritating messages like ‘punished for exams malpractices.’
Clementine Bihoyiki, who sat her O-Level examinations at Groupe Scolaire Nyamatete in Rwamagana District, was told to repeat Senior Three.
“I tried several times to search for my results and got feedback with the message’ “punished for exams malpractices’. I want to know my final fate,” Bihoyiki said.
“They (Reb) tell me that they saw two similar copies of my English exam bearing the same identification names and registration number but different handwriting. They concluded that I had cheated exams and I have to repeat the year.”
With tears rolling down her cheeks, the student said her case was not understandable but she thought that one of her classmates deliberately did it to ruin her chances.
The problem that led to withholding of results emanated from different errors ranging from mistakes made by students while filling their registration forms to students adding their nicknames to their real names.
The names of some students on their identification cards do not match with the names on registration forms.
For other students, the problem emanated from change of their names at registration time, while others omitted middle names or some letters.
For example, a student whose name is Jean Claude Uwimana was affected when he wrote Claude Uwimana alone.
Another student said misspelling of his name due to anxiety at exam time has turned out to be his nightmare.
“I was nervous during the paper. I wrote my name in a hurry and ended up misspelling it,” a male student said.
“I advise my colleagues to be confident during exams because fear can affect thinking capacity of a candidate.”
One parent from Nyamagabe District found out that his child did not fill registration form correctly, and said he was satisfied after knowing the truth.
Contacted for a comment, Emmanuel Muvunyi, the deputy director-general in charge of examination at Reb, explained that the students’ results were withheld for mainly exam malpractices and errors in identifications.
“If a person does wrong must be punished. For the students who got the message saying ‘punished for exam malpractices’, there is no need for them wasting their time and money for transport because the message is clear,” Muvunyi said, maintaining that it was not necessary to mention the number of students who were affected.
“For the students whose identifications do not match, we are helping them to correct it. We have also received parents whose children cheated but nothing else can be done for them because their children cheated.”
Students whose results were withheld have until January 21 to file their complaints.