THE number of female candidates who sat for this year’s Primary Leaving Examinations in Gicumbi, Rulindo and Nyagatare districts yesterday outnumbered that of their male counterparts, according to education officials.
“Out of a total of 6,092 candidates sitting for this year’s PLE in Rulindo District, 3,493 are girls while 2,599 are boys,” said the District Director of Education Jean Nepomucene Basabose.
Basabose attributed the female candidates’ increase to the district’s campaign to promote girls’ education.
“Parents have been sensitized right from the grassroots level to provide equal education opportunities to girls and boys, which is why a high number of girls turned up for PLE exams this year,” he added.
The Gicumbi District coordinator of social development Deogratias Mwanafunzi, also remarked that the enrolment of more girls in schools was responsible for the increased number of female candidates this year, compared to previous years.
“A total of 8,417 candidates have turned up for this year’s PLE, compared to 8,100 for last year,” said Mwanafunzi.
At examination centres visited by The New Times in GS Inyange of Byumba Sector, which brought together four schools, exams kicked off at 9.00 a.m.
Meanwhile, in Nyagatare district, officials said the number of candidates sitting for the exams increased by 6 percent this year, with girls outnumbering boys.
Speaking to The New Times on Tuesday before the exam time, the district director of education, Martin Hitimana, said that the total number of candidates increased to 6,784 this year, attracting a 6 percent increase compared to last year.
According to Hitimana, at the 32 examination centres 51 percent of the candidates were girls while 49 percent were boys.
“This is an incredible improvement the district has registered in promoting girls’ education. It’s a positive move that the number of female candidates outnumbered that of boys,” he said.
Hitimana added that the government’s 9-year-basic education programme also played a pivotal role in increasing school enrolment.
In a mini survey carried out by the New Times at different examination centres, candidates looked set to tackle the papers.
“I am very optimistic that I will score highly this year. We revised adequately and we hope to pass the exams,” Eric Ndoli, one of the candidates at Nyagatare Primary School examination centre said.
This year’s examinations will be written in English for all examination papers.
In Musanze district, education officer, Fidele Nzigira, said that this year has seen 15 percent increase in the number of candidates. A total of 7,659 candidates sat the exams.
He said the examination papers were received on time, and exams commenced at exactly 9 am.
“We had 6,633 candidates last year but this year there was an increase both in secondary and primary levels,” Nzigira said.
However, it was reported that there were a number of pupils who registered for the Primary Leaving Exams but dropped out before sitting for the exams.
The headmaster of Kabuga Primary School, Cyuve sector, Innocent Nshimiyimana, said that out of 54 pupils who registered for PLE, early this year, 10 did not sit for exams because they dropped out of school for various reasons.
At Gasyangiro Primary School, the headmistress Beatrice Nyiraguhirwa, revealed that at least nine pupils out of 48 had dropped out.