Secondary schools around the country finished their national examinations yesterday with a few malpractices reported, the Executive Secretary Rwanda National Examination Council John Rutayisire has said.
“This time round, exams have been conducted very well compared to last year. We have had only two malpractice cases reported so far, which is a very good improvement,” he explained.
One case was in a primary school in Kayonza where two teachers were arrested helping pupils with answers and the other was in Rilima in Bugesera where a man was using a school cleaner to ferry answers to a candidate during the exams. He attributed the reduced malpractices to the new measures that were put in place by the council.
“I can almost say that the new measures have done wonders. There were no cases of impersonation now that the registration forms carried pictures of the candidates. We also increased the number of supervisors which helped greatly,” Rutayisire added.
Inspite of the fact that the exams ended well, the general reaction from the candidates and the supervisors is that the exams were very difficult unlike in the previous years.
Basongwa Gaston, a teacher at Ecole Technic Muhazi who was supervising exams at Lycee De Kigali said that the exams were tougher this year compared to last year.
“Students have found the exams quite difficult. Towards the end of the exams, many sitting for sciences complained that the papers were tougher than they expected,” Basongwa said.
“Previously, students were required to give brief answers but this time round, they are supposed to go into detail, which is new and has made the exams difficult for them,” Alex Muhirwa, the Director of Solidarity Academy, said.
RNEC advised government in 2006 on what should be taught in schools by setting standard exams on the subject curricula for schools throughout the country.
It was noted that the proposed analytical exam setting would be a suitable way to assess the capacity of students to think academically on current and historical issues.
Rutayisire was confident that the new changes in the setting of the exams would not affect candidates’ performance and that the questions were selected in order to encourage students to achieve a maximum rational answering style.
“Rwanda is now in the East African Community and we can not compete if students are not encouraged to be analytical. In my opinion, students are going to score highly because we shall be awarding marks according to the thinking process,” Rutayisire explained.