Girls make up 54 percent of the 167,166 registered candidates for the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) that kicked-off yesterday around the country.
The first papers in this year’s examinations that registered more girls than boys were Mathematics and Social Studies.
State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Mathias Harebamungu, launched the exercise in Bugesera District where a total of 5,471 pupils registered to sit for the exams.
Speaking at Munazi Primary School examination centre, where candidates from four schools converged, Harebamungu announced that preparations for this year’s exams had gone on well with no delays all over the country.
He said the ministry chose to launch the examinations in Bugesera to boost the morale of pupils in the countryside.
“We want them to know that the government thinks about them,” said Harebamungu who also disclosed that this year’s national exams were set and printed in the country.
Previously, the examination papers were printed in Germany.
In an interview with The New Times, Justin Rudahunga, the headmaster of Munazi Primary School, said that his students were well prepared going by their performance during mock exams.
“They are familiar with being examined and we are hopeful that they will perform well,” he said.
During a visit to a number of schools around Kigali City shortly after the morning examinations, most candidates interviewed expressed optimism.
“Mathematics was not as difficult as I thought, I hope to pass it because I prepared well enough,” said Kevin Mupenzi, from Remera Academy.
This year’s PLE exams are being conducted in 691 examination centres countrywide, compared to 639 last year.
In Nyagatare District, 6,522 candidates sat for exams, according to the directorate of education at the district.
The district director of education, Martin Hakizimana, said, there were 34 examination centres in the district and no malpractices were reported.
In Karongi District, though the turn up was generally fair, it was not the case in some parts of the Western Province.
Some examination centres recorded a reasonably big number who missed their examinations.
At Byinama Examination Centre in Gishyita Sector, there were 338 registered candidates. But many are said to have missed the papers.
“Most of those who missed their exams are school dropouts and it has been discovered that the majority of them dropped out for no particular reason,” a teacher at the centre revealed.
Though there was no official statement by press time, tentative statistics compiled by The New Times estimated about 200 pupils missed their exams in five out of 13 sectors in the district.
According to Emerance Ayinkamiye, the district education Director in Rutsiro, the turn up was relatively good and averaging about 90 percent.
Charles Kwizera, Dan Ngabonziza, Stephen Rwembeho & Sam Nkurunziza contributed to this report.