KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: How a student is expected to behave

It goes without saying that every child in Rwanda has a right to education. However, in order for your right to education to go on without any interference, there are certain duties and responsibilities that accrue to you as a student.

It goes without saying that every child in Rwanda has a right to education. However, in order for your right to education to go on without any interference, there are certain duties and responsibilities that accrue to you as a student. 

These duties and responsibilities have been spelled out in ministerial order n° 004/2016 of 08/01/2016 determining rules governing code of conduct of headmasters, teachers and students.

By the definition stated in article two of the above-mentioned order, a student “any person enrolled in a nursery, primary or a secondary school to attend lessons.”

Article 10 of ministerial order no. 004/2016 of 08/01/2016 states that students are to be characteristed by politeness everywhere they are. This means that whether you are at school, at home or elsewhere, as a student you are expected to approach people respectfully and to use appropriate language.

Another aspect of the code of conduct in the ministerial order is self-dignity. As the saying goes, “respect is earned, not commanded.” This means that other people are more likely to respect you if you respect yourself.

Self-respect or dignity therefore refers to the way you carry yourself; your words and actions.

Other aspects of the code of conduct for students include; respect of school authorities, teachers, parents and fellow students; proper maintenance of school equipment, your own property as well as those of your peers; knowledge and respect of the school rules; and paying attention to the cleanliness of your body, uniforms and tools wherever you are.

Article 11 of ministerial order no. 004/2014 of 08/01/2016 determining rules governing code of conduct of headmasters, teachers and students statuses prohibited students’ behavior.

It states that a student must refrain from the use and consumption of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and any other thing that may damage health. It also outlaws stealing or damaging the property of others.

Further still, as a student you are expected not to participate in sexual relations, prostitution or vagabondage.

Sexual relations and prostitution are especially unlawful if you are below 18 since you cannot give consent until you have obtained that age.

In article 11 of the ministerial order, lack of respect, throwing insults, intimidation or fighting are also prohibited and so is divisionism, discrimination, persecution or violence.

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