294,506 students are expected to sit for the 2010 national examinations in all the three categories according to the Rwanda National Examinations Council (RNEC).
This is an increase of 11.1 percent from last year’s figure with an additional 29,523 candidates who will sit for the exams.
Advanced Level exams registered the biggest increase of 51,286 students up from 49,851 the previous. Female candidates make up 54%.
In an exclusive interview with The New Times yesterday, the Executive Secretary of RNEC, John Rutayisire, attributed the rise of the numbers to efforts by the government to encourage parents to let their children complete the cycle.
“The dropout and repetition rates have tremendously gone down especially in the primary schools, due to the government policy of ensuring that at least every Rwandan child finishes the first nine years of education,” said Rutayisire.
He added that the attitude of educators, who have adopted more friendly methods of teaching, is also a factor.
“The teaching system used to encourage cramming, but as time goes by, educators are adopting this friendlier method of examining where you let the student answer through understanding,” he said, adding that this has encouraged many to continue with their education.
However, Rutayisire observed that as numbers continue to increase, there is need for more vocational schools to absorb these numbers since all of them cannot join university.
“The country needs hands-on skills which can only be obtained by putting more effort in establishing more vocational institutions. At least one in every district,” he said.