. Urges parents to accept new system
NYARUGENGE - The State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education has urged public servants in Kigali City Council (KCC), to explain the new system of Nine-Year Basic Education to parents who are still confused about the future of their children.
During a meeting yesterday with all the officials in charge of education in the city and other education partners, Theoneste Mutsindashyaka said that parents need to change their mentality and agree to an education system that would speed up the country’s development.
“You have been used to a situation where passing examinations for children is understood as sending them to boarding schools…that has got to change because it can’t take us anywhere,” he told the participants of the meeting as he urged them to explain the system to other citizens.
By the new education arrangement, pupils in primary schools will have to attend the same schools where they did primary education or join other schools near their homes to study the first three years of secondary education as day-scholars.
Government says the new system intends to give more children access to basic education but this has confused parents who have been planning to send children leaving primary schools to secondary schools elsewhere.
“My child was not admitted to any secondary school. I am afraid he will be coming back home in the middle of the day after attending school and go on playing at home just like he was doing before,” said one of the parents who was worried that her child was not going to a government boarding school despite having passed well the national examination.
“I don’t know if he will be doing primary seven or doing a secondary school. I just think it is good he joins a boarding school,’ she said.
She together with many other parents across the country are confused after the Rwanda National Examinations Council said that their children qualified to join secondary schools without showing them the new schools to join.
A big number of the students will just have to be promoted to senior one at the same schools where they undertook their primary education.
“In three years to come, we will have schools that provide education from the nursery level to secondary level…we need to have a Rwandan education system that suits us,” Mutsindashyaka told hundreds of educationalists who were gathered at Nyarugenge District main hall.
Though the new system still sounds odd to many parents, the ministry has started a campaign to explain it country-wide, some education professionals see it as a ‘wonderful’ arrangement that will allow many Rwandans to study at almost no cost.
“What I would say about this reform is that it is good. It should have come earlier,” said Denis Mukama, a lecturer at the Kigali Institute of Education.
With the new system being implemented, Primary Leaving Examinations will no longer be used as a yardstick to decide whether one is qualified to join secondary school or not, says the Ministry of Education.
This implies that all students will be guaranteed to continue their studies up to senior three.