Aloys Zunguzungu, who emerged the best student in the City of Kigali in the just-released 2007 Senior Six national examinations, has said that setting high ambitions worked for him in the examinations.
Zunguzungu, who obtained 9.1 points, becoming fourteenth countrywide, is a former student of Lycee de Kigali, a school known traditionally for excellence but which has over the recent years missed out on the best performers’ list.
Zunguzungu, 20, who was offering Mathematics and Physics, is the only student from Kigali City that came among the nineteen top performers, according to the results released over the weekend.
He said he put much effort on Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and English. “It came to a time when I said no, I’ve got to make it – come what may,” he told The New Times. “I knew I was going to fulfill God’s plan for me.”
Zunguzungu said he had an objective of performing well at the national level; something he believed could not come on a silver platter “but through commitment and discipline.”
He paid glowing tribute to the school’s head teacher, Martin M. Masabo, who he said put him under “pressure whenever he would tell me that I have to score 11 points”.
He also said he never wasted his time with petty distractive things. “I made sure that I planned well for my time. I spent most of my time on studying, sleeping, praying and eating, and certainly I always took a rest so I can read with a fresh mind.”
He said he never mixed reading time with an extra-curricula activity or anything else to avoid “cheating myself and therefore putting my future in jeopardy”.
Besides, Zunguzungu was a school prefect and dedicated Christian, but in his own words, “I always did the right thing at the right time.”
“Everything I did was according to plan and studies were my priority,” he said.
He says that God was at the centre of his feat.
Zunguzungu, who lost his parents in 1992 and 1997, said that he has always performed well but could not imagine topping the entire Kigali City.
He however said he was not fully satisfied with the points he got because he had targeted at scoring 10 points.
“I was not impressed by the points I got but surprised by my position in Kigali,” he said.
He advised candidate students to study hard, comprehend what they read and aim high.
He also praised the new examination and marking system which looks more at students’ answering arguments and reasoning capacity other than the previous one which dwelt most on direct answers.
He said the old style encouraged cramming but was not appropriate to develop a knowledge-based society.
“With the new style however, students will be able to ready and understand clearly, and will in future be able to apply that knowledge in their respective professions.”