First girls-only school to mark Diamond Jubilee

GROUPE SCOLAIRE St Bernadette, the first girls’ secondary school in the country, is set to mark its 75th anniversary this month.
Some of the current students inside the school’s computer lab. GS Ste Bernadette de Save is set to mark its 75th anniversary on July 28. The New Times/ Jean Pierre Bucyensenge.
Some of the current students inside the school’s computer lab. GS Ste Bernadette de Save is set to mark its 75th anniversary on July 28. The New Times/ Jean Pierre Bucyensenge.

GROUPE SCOLAIRE St Bernadette, the first girls’ secondary school in the country, is set to mark its 75th anniversary this month.

The Gisagara District-based school, located in Save Sector, opened its doors to the first batch of students in 1938. GS Bernadette is a boarding school.

Its diamond jubilee will be celebrated on Sunday, July 28, in a ceremony to be held at the school’s premises.

Since its establishment, it has grown to become one of the best in the country and a model for other schools, especially with regard to the promotion of girls’ education, Sister Immaculée Mukandori, the school’s director told The New Times.

“We have continued to register excellent results in national examinations at both ordinary and advanced levels. The pass rate of our students [in the national exams] is almost always 100 per cent,” Sister Mukandori said, before adding that many of them make it to university, while some others get scholarship to study abroad “due to their excellence.”

Review and learning


Sister Mukandori said the jubilee will be an occasion to thank God for the achievements registered and look ahead towards maintaining them.

It will also be an occasion for the current students to meet with the alumni to exchange experiences and learn from them.

She vowed to maintain academic excellence and discipline at the school as well as continue to champion girls’ education.

“We shall continue to help educate and train children and help them grow both intellectually and morally so they keep contributing to the nation’s development,” she said.

Groupe Scolaire Ste Bernadette de Save was founded by the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa and was an exclusively girls facility. It is only in 1992 that the boarding school started admitting male students.

More than 4,000 students have graduated from the school in the last 75 years in various disciplines.

The school might have opened its doors to male students but, according to Sister Mukandori, the girls remain dominant, constituting at least three-quarters of the school population.

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