A total of 297,352 candidates are slated to sit for Primary, Ordinary Level and Advanced Level national examinations next month.
According to the Rwanda Education Board (REB), the number of candidates has decreased by 2,279 from the 299,631 that sat last year.
The decrease is observed in secondary school candidates, while the number grew by 3,006 (1.8 per cent) for the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) candidates.
The number of PLE candidates has increased to 168,290 from 165,284 in 2014, while candidates reduced to 86,376 from 88,111 in O-Level and down to 42,686 from 46,236 in A-Level.
In an interview with , last Friday, Emmanuel Muvunyi, the deputy director-general in charge of examinations at REB, said a decrease of candidates by 7.7 per cent in A-level is due to the government’s policy to send more students to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
“A number of students are increasingly joining TVET after O-Level studies and this is in line with the government’s policy to shift the emphasis from general education to TVET. The causes behind a slight reduction of candidates in O-Level are unclear and we need to verify,” he said.
Under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, the government targets to have 60 per cent of the students in technical and vocational education sector by 2018, up from the current 40 per cent.
Muvunyi said statistics about gender differences are yet to be known, but promised that his office will avail them by end week.
“National examinations are not intended to make anyone fail but to test their competencies toward the learning objectives. I urge candidates to concentrate on preparations to make good use of the remaining time ahead of exams and strongly comply with the regulations,” he said.
Primary Six candidates will start with Mathematics in the morning and Social Studies in the afternoon and close with English, while O-Level candidates will start with Mathematics and Kinyarwanda on the first day and end with Biology.
Examinations will run on November 3-5 for Primary Six and November 11-20 for secondary levels.