Secondary school students reporting back to school for the first term, next week, will travel in two shifts to quell typical transport shortages that occur during the opening and closing of every term.
In an interview with The New Times yesterday, the State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Mathias Harebamungu said that the first shift, which will be composed of students from the Western and Southern Province, will go back to school this Sunday.
The second shift, which includes those from Kigali City, Northern and Eastern Province, will go on Monday.
“The main objective of this arrangement is to ensure that no student gets stranded while going back to his /her school because public transport companies take advantage of the surge in passengers to hike fares” Harebamungu said.
Those who will go back to school on Sunday will resume their studies on Monday whereas those reporting on Monday will commence their studies the following day.
The Ministry, in partnership with the District Education Officers (DEOs) and the National Police, has contacted transport companies to ensure that all students are transported back to their respective schools putting on school uniforms. The Minister said that this will help them to easily be differentiated from other passengers.
Harebamungu added that the ministry had agreed with ONATRACOM, the state transport agency, to transport students studying in remote areas across the country without hiking fares. He added that the Ministry has issued a list of students to be transported to each province.
Ntacyo Burahinda of the Rwanda National Police requested drivers to avoid cases of over-speeding and overloading while transporting the students, citing this as one of the major causes of road accidents. He added that all vehicles transporting the students will be fully inspected.
In an interview with The New Times yesterday, Charles Ngarambe, the chairman of Rwanda Transporters Association, said that Public transport companies will give first priority to students because it has been noticed several times that students find it difficult to get taxis and buses during the opening and closing of every school term.