The Ministry of Education is in the process of phasing out double shift system in primary schools, a move that many say will improve education quality.
According to the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Isaac Munyakazi, the development will be effective during the 2018 academic year that commenced on Monday.
The double shift programme in public primary schools was initiated in 2009 to promote education for all.
In an interview, Munyakazi explained that while the system helped many children to attend school, there were other challenges because children would study fewer hours.
Under the new move, the students will be studying eight hours per day while previously, under the double shift system, they would study for only six hours. It is believed this will give students enough time to revise and discuss in groups as well as enable teachers to carry out more research.
In line with implementing the decission, Munyakazi outlined the requirements such as increasing the number of classrooms, teachers, as well as school materials, including desks and text books.
He said that all requirements will be catered for in the 2018/2019 budget.
Teachers speak out
Elizabeth Nyiransengimana, a teachers’ representative at Centre Scolaire Kamuzi in Rukoma Sector, Kamonyi District, said the move will boost academic performance.
“Students will benefit a lot. They will get enough time to learn and time to revise and discuss in groups. Previously, it was not easy for the students to revise because they would study one shift and go home where they would be busy with home chores,’’ said Nyiransengimana.
“This time, they will use morning hours learning new things and, in the afternoon, they will get time to do research and discuss in groups to better understand the subjects.”
She added that previously, there were imbalances between students who attend morning and afternoon shifts.
In the mornings a teacher is normally fresh and more comfortable to teach certain subjects than in the afternoons when they are tired, she said.
Mugabo Hakizimana, the head teacher at Groupe Scolaire Nyamiyaga in Rongi Sector, Muhanga District, said that the full day programme will keep students busy and focused on studies instead of being bothered with other activities not related to school.
He added that teachers and students will also have enough time for discussions and exercise.