The Quota system is as good as it is bad

Many education systems in Africa have a system of selecting students to join secondary schools after sitting Primary Leaving Examinations.
Nyamosi Zachariah
Nyamosi Zachariah

Many education systems in Africa have a system of selecting students to join secondary schools after sitting Primary Leaving Examinations. They seek to have equal representation in each region in schools rated as national and provincial.

Schools in local areas such as villages are left to admit students from within their locality.

This is called the Quota system. The principle of this system is to strike a balance in regional representation in the highly rated national and provincial institutions.

True still, students from different parts of the country get a chance to travel to other parts of the country to learn more about the education institutions.

Getting to learn and share with students from different parts of the country while sharing the same resources helps to foster a spirit of nationhood ,thereby promoting national cohesion.

One of the objectives of education, worldwide ,is to promote patriotism. Education systems should encourage citizens to appreciate their heritage and celebrate national diversity. Ignoring this is synonymous to negating the core purpose of the school.

The selection of students joining various high schools in the country is drawing close. Parents and guardians should not ignore the fact that it will be great for their children to go out of Kigali and get to know what it is like to live and study in Ruhengeri, while those in Nyagatare should also seize the opportunity to have a feel of the city.

Change of environment is quite refreshing, especially  when it comes to learning. Learning is not just about books and sitting exams. It also involves knowing what happens in a particular place and what other people go through.

Many fairly well qualified students who are legible to join good schools around their regions end up in less developed local schools. As a result, their performance ends up dwindling.

At times, the difference between performance of the best schools in a country and the poor ones is the difference in the quality of educational infrastructure and supplies.

In my opinion, classification of schools as national and provincial should be scrapped. Let each region have schools with excellent infrastructure as good as those anywhere else in the country. This can also help to thaw the inferiority complex among students who study in schools away from cities. They will feel equally capable to compete nationally as the ground will be leveled.

znyamosi@yahoo.com

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