The results of last year’s Primary Six and Senior Three national examinations, released Thursday, are yet another indication that the Government’s sustained efforts to make education accessible to all, and working to check the dropout rate, especially among the girls, are paying impressive dividends already.
Overall, the results indicate a remarkable increment in the number of candidates in the two categories and a better performance by girls. Furthermore, figures indicate that the 2010 candidates performed better, compared to previous years. This is even more revealing considering that English was introduced in schools as the official language of instruction, last year, with the majority of the students answering their national examinations in the language.
That many rural-based schools excelled in the examinations, some beating Kigali City’s traditional best performers shows that, indeed, students are confidently adapting to the use of the English language.
The fact that female candidates, generally, outnumbered their male counterparts also shows how much the policy to retain girls in school has been embraced by the Rwandan community. In the past, female students dropped out due to cultural stereotypes, early pregnancies and the burden of home chores.
The general rise in the number of school-going children is largely due to the introduction of the free basic education programme, which has enabled children from poor families to enroll and keep in school.
However, the government and all education stakeholders must ensure that we reach 100 percent school enrolment and retention, since education is the backbone of strong economies.