KIGALI - The second phase of the Nine – Year Basic Education classrooms construction campaign has kicked off. In an interview with The New Times, the State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary education, Dr. Mathias Harebamungu, said that the Ministry considered it paramount to begin the exercise early.
“Last year, the construction exercise began late and it took a lot of efforts to beat the deadline, so this time we want to begin early,” Harebamungu said.
The second phase of 9-YBE classrooms construction will cater for the promotion of the second batch of children studying under the programme, which began in the 2009 academic year.
The programme was introduced by government mainly to trim the rate of secondary school drop outs; as they have to attend the first part of their secondary studies at the schools where they completed free primary education.
Harebamungu said that this time round, 2, 778 classrooms and 5, 883 restrooms need to be constructed but the numbers could change since districts have been instructed to advise on the number of classrooms they need.
Asked why the number of classrooms had declined from last year’s over 3,000 yet the number of students is still the same, Harebamungu said that some districts had constructed more classrooms last year than they needed at the time.
According to Harebamungu, the exercise is expected to cost the government over Rwf23 billion, but only Rwf14 billion has been availed for this project.
State Minister also said that building materials such as cement and steel bars were already being procured and urged all Rwandans to give the campaign the support it deserves, like they did last time.
“Rwandans did a very wonderful job during the construction of the classrooms last year and we ask them to do the same this time,” he said.
May’s communal work (umuganda), took place on school premises where the classrooms will be built, so as to prepare the construction sites.