The Ministry of Education (Mineduc) has embarked on a move that will see secondary school students who are going back for their end of year holidays this week, to do it in shifts to avoid transport shortages.
This was announced by the State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Mathias Harebamungu, during an interview with The New Times yesterday.
According to Harebamungu, this exercise will affect non-candidate students of senior one, two, four and five.
“On closing days, public transport companies have been taking advantage of the surge in passengers, specifically students, to hike fares. This is why we came up with this initiative to address the matter,” Harebamungu said.
He noted that many students going back home for holidays become stranded and start loitering around their schools because they cannot afford fares.
The minister said that the first shift will go on holidays on Thursday October 27 and will be composed of students from schools in the Western and Southern provinces.
He added that the second shift will go for their holidays the following day on Friday and these include those from Kigali City, Eastern and Northern provinces.
He noted that ministry has requested all head teachers to give school reports to the students earlier in order to enable them leave their schools on time.
Harebamungu said that the ministry in partnership with District Education Officers (DEOs) who have contacted all school managers to make sure that all students wear their school uniforms on closing day.
This, he said, will make them stand out from other passengers and to avoid some students going elsewhere instead of going home.
He added that the ministry has spoken to heads of schools across the country to coordinate with transport companies to be the ones buying tickets on behalf of the students.
According to Harebamungu, every school will be requested to compile a list of students to be transported, adding that every transport company will be given a copy.
Harebamungu told The New Times that that the ministry has agreed with ONATRACOM, the government owned transport agency to transport students who study in remote areas across the country without increasing the fares.
He also disclosed that they have established a committee together with police to supervise the exercise.
In an interview yesterday, Celestin Twahirwa, Chief of Traffic Police, said that during the two days, traffic police will ensure that all vehicles transporting students have all the necessary documents to avoid road accidents.
“Traffic police will provide convoys to escort vehicles and clear the way for vehicles moving in large numbers while transporting the students,” Twahirwa said.
He said that they will deploy police officers at every school countrywide to make sure that students leave their respective schools with sufficient arrangement.
Twahira also noted that they will provide policemen who will travel with the buses transporting students to ensure that the drivers don’t over speed.