Winning head-teachers attribute success to discipline

Head teachers of the best performing schools in the recently released Primary Leaving Exams results say they worked tirelessly to ensure their pupils passed with flying colours.
Nancy Mutoni of Kigali Parents who emerged as the best students in last year's Primary Leaving examinations.
Nancy Mutoni of Kigali Parents who emerged as the best students in last year's Primary Leaving examinations.

Head teachers of the best performing schools in the recently released Primary Leaving Exams results say they worked tirelessly to ensure their pupils passed with flying colours.

New Life Academy, located in Kayonza District, Eastern Province, surprised many by having five of its students among the top ten countrywide.

New Life Academy had 161 candidates, out of whom 116 passed with first grade, while all others were in second grade. 

John Africa, the school’s head teacher, told The New Times yesterday, that the school was established purposely to help address the plight of orphans in the district “because they are the most vulnerable in society”.

“It was founded in order to accommodate, educate and inspire the hundreds of children in Kayonza District,” he underscored.

In 2001, a team of Christian well-wishers, led by Pastor Charles Mugisha Buregeya of Africa New Life Ministries, listed 29 vulnerable children to assist them acquire scholarships.

Little did the team know they were spearheading a life changing project; in 2003 New Life Academy was launched.

The school’s first sitting of PLE was in 2008 with 56 candidates, out of whom 50 got first grade.

2009 was another prosperous year for the school as 73 candidates that sat for PLE passed with first grade, with three of them emerging among the best, countrywide.

84 pupils sat for the 2010 PLE and 80 got first grade.

“Our secret has always been moral feeding, spirituals and academic. Our teachers were among those that re-designed the Curricula and we always try to go a step ahead of the curricula,” said Africa.

James Kanamugire, a parent who has a Primary Two child at the school, said that the school has all it takes to excel.

The young businessman said that he was happy to get value for his money, adding that every parent would like to see their kids succeed.

“The school’s enforcement of discipline is the bottom line...the teachers are qualified and experienced; they care for pupils as parents. I am optimistic that my son, too, will do well when time comes for him to sit for the national exams,” he noted.

John Mugabo, the Mayor of Kayonza District, said the school’s good performance was based on its religious background.

“Morals are very important in any institution...the school’s moral standards are very high, which is why they do well. They have also created a very beautiful internal and external school environment.” The school held a thanks-giving ceremony yesterday.

Known as one of the best English schools in the country, Kigali Parents School emerged the fifth, with 153 passing in the first grade out of 156 candidates that sat for the exams.

According to the school’s Principal, Charles Mutazihana, the school performed impressively compared to the first four.

“If you consider the number of pupils who sat for the exams and the resources that are required to teach them all, it is clear that our performance was very impressive,” said Mutazihana.

The school started in 1995 with six pupils and a teaching staff of four. The pupils’ enrolment has since grown to 1,925 with a teaching staff of 65.

Asked if his school could produce the best student next time, the Principal said it was technically not possible considering the big numbers of candidates his school has.

“We are competing with schools that have less than 30 pupils, beating them in the ranking is technically impossible but when you look at the performance of individual pupils, we are doing great,” he said. 

He said their secret was hardworking teachers who are passionate about their job.

“When we are offering education to our pupils, we try to leave no stone unturned,” said Mutazihana.

edwin.musoni@newtimes.co.rw

stephen.rwembeho@newtimes.co.rw

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