Ecole Secondaire de Hotelerie et Tourisme de Gasogi in Ndera Sector, Gasabo District, has been closed over poor hygienic standards and lack of discipline among the students.
According to Marie Louise Uwimana, the vice mayor of Gasabo District in charge of social affairs, the school was closed, last week, after the administration failed to follow instructions from the district and the Ministry of Education (Mineduc) over several outstanding issues.
“The district management, in partnership with Mineduc, decided to close this school temporary after its leadership failed to adjust despite the various warnings we gave them,” Uwimana said.
Speaking to The New Times after a meeting with the management of the school, Uwimana said that, for the last three or four years, the school has been marred with various issues, including cases of indiscipline among students, inadequate teaching facilities and cases of poor hygiene, especially in dormitories and the dinning hall.
The district official pointed out that students at the school, especially those studying hotel management, lack teaching materials.
She gave the example of the students using local cooking stoves, which she said cannot facilitate students to ably compete with others after completion of their schooling.
Uwimana added that the school has been characterised by drunken students.
She revealed that prior to its closure, the officials from the district, the Workforce Development Authority and Mineduc, visited the school several times to advise management to improve its standards but to no avail.
“The district had asked the school administration not to resume studies this term without first informing us on whether they had finished addressing the problems that had been brought to their attention, but they defied our orders,” Uwimana said.
She said that due to irregularities at the school, the management of the Fund for Support to Genocide Survivors (FARG) has transferred 509 students, who have been studying at the school on the fund’s sponsorship, to other schools in Ruhango, Huye and Rusizi districts.
The school was given until the end of this month to have completed putting in place all the essential requirements before being allowed to fully resume operations.
When The New Times visited the school, there were only 94 students present at the school that boasts of a population of 800 students.
Didas Kanyange, the headmaster, said they will rehabilitate the school’s infrastructure like toilets and dormitories and buy new equipment, especially in the department of hotel management.
“I agree with the district management that there have been cases of indiscipline among our students and insufficient teaching materials, but we are determined to beef up our strategies to ensure that we address these issues within the shortest period of time,” Kanyange pledged.
Patience Manirakiza, a student in hotel management and tourism said: “We were told on Wednesday, at around midday, that the school had been closed.”
Theos Seruyange, a Senior Six student, said that they had spent two days without sufficient food, adding that they even failed to get money to transport them back home since some of them hail from distant areas like in Nyagatare and Huye districts.
More than 500 students at the school have been in the boarding section, according to Kanyange.