The number of candidates for the 2016 Primary Leaving Examinations, due to commence next week, has increased to 194, 679 up from 168,290 last year, officials have said.
Similarly, the number of students that registered for the Ordinary Level examinations grew from 86,376 last year to 91,116.
Nonetheless, there was a decline in the number of Advanced Level candidates, from 42,687 last year to 41,719, according to figures from the Ministry of Education.
The statistics were released on Wednesday during a news conference called to brief the media about next week’s examinations, addressed by Isaac Munyakazi, the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, among other officials.
Primary leaving, and Ordinary and Advanced levels examinations will be sat between November 1 and 18.
During the Wednesday news conference at the Ministry Headquarters in Kigali, Minister Munyakazi reminded all stakeholders involved in the examinations process to act professionally.
“Everyone should know their responsibilities to make sure the examinations are conducted without a hitch,” he said.
“In the past, we have had cases of malpractices that involved candidates and, at times, with complicity of supervisors or heads of schools. This criminal practice will not be tolerated. All students are capable and should be confident enough to excel using their own competence.”
The minister added that following the registration of candidates, verification was done to confirm the registered candidates at school level to ensure that they are the right candidates at their respective schools.
“We found out that at 25 candidates had abandoned school, or were suspended due to various reasons. Out of 820 private candidates who applied to sit for S.6 national exams, 20 were found to have forged Senior Three result slips. Their cases are being investigated,” said the minister.
Munyakazi said the ministry will not condone indisciple of some students who abandon schools mainly in third term because they have finished their registration and only show up to sit exams.
Explaining about the decrease in the number of candidates registered to sit A-Level examinations, Janvier Gasana, the director-general of Rwanda Education Board (REB), said this was because of the increasing number of students who join technical and vocational training institutions after completing O-Level while others who join Teachers’ Training Centres.