French back in O-Level examinations

Senior Three candidates will resume sitting French as a subject with effect from 2016. According to the Rwanda Education Board (Reb), French, hitherto a non-examinable subject, will, effective next year, be handled differently to enable students prepare for the examination in 2016.

Senior Three candidates will resume sitting French as a subject with effect from 2016.

According to the Rwanda Education Board (Reb), French, hitherto a non-examinable subject, will, effective next year, be handled differently to enable students prepare for the examination in 2016.

French was scrapped off examination timetable at Ordinary Level in Rwanda in 2010 when the country switched the medium of instruction to English.

Since then, it had effectively become an optional subject with students having little interest since it was not examinable.

Dr Joyce Musabe, the in charge of curricula development at Reb, said the decision was reached at after it was realised that students ignored the subject because it was not examinable, yet they needed knowledge of French to study languages at Advanced Level.

“French is an international language. We don’t teach students just to be examined, but to equip them with knowledge. We can’t allow them to shun French because it is an important language in,” Musabe said.

The lesson hours will remain the same, at two hours per week, but Musabe said students’ attitude toward the subject will have to change.

The challenge will be that schools lack fully fledged libraries to provide all the necessary text books.

In separate interviews, some teachers and students welcomed the development.

Resumption date

Nadine Nshimiyimana, a teacher at Groupe Scolaire Rugando in Kigali, said students will now take the subject seriously.

And Michel Muvange Nturo, the head teacher of Ecole Secondaire Nyamirama in Kayonza District, said the move is good but the hours allocated for teaching the subject are still few.

“If they make it examinable they must increase it to at least three hours per week.”

But Dismas Mucyo, from Cyinzovu Primary School, sees it differently.

“I think two hours are enough because there are other examinable subjects which are allocated two hours on the timetable like General Paper,” said Mucyo.

Musabe said the policy will start with the pupils joining secondary school next year, but Reb will have to meet teachers and school heads to brief them on how candidates will be assessed.

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