The Rwanda National Examination council (RNEC) has embarked on a programme to train science teachers in preparation for the practical examinations that will take place in October this year.
The practical exams will be part of the Secondary School Leaving National Examinations for the first time in history.
The training of a total number of 51 teachers in Kigali which began yesterday at Lycee de Kigali (LDK) is a kick-start of a similar series of trainings which are going to be carried out throughout the country.
According to RNEC Executive Secretary John Rutayisire, the training has come as a continuous reform in the Ministry of Education.
“As you know science subjects in Rwanda have been examined theoretically in the past, we decided that effective this year, the practical part be done as a continuous reform in the education sector,” remarked Rutayisire.
He also explained that in order for Rwanda to be turned into a science and ICT hub, there is need to put emphasis on practical sciences.
“The country will never be a science and ICT hub when students are only sitting for theoretical national examination. We need the practical part so that we can produce people who are equally competent and fit for the E.A labour market,” he said.
During an interview, the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Theoneste Mutsindashyaka said that in order to get good results, the ministry had to first train the science teachers who will examine the practical part.
The minister added that they have embarked on a drive to ensure that the 30 schools referred to as Schools of Excellence across the country have all the necessary laboratory equipments before the exams in October.
Science students have traditionally been sitting for six subjects at Advanced Level and some could qualify as medical students at university without passing Chemistry and Biology, the basic subjects for the discipline, a fact that officials said led to low production of competent professionals.
According to the reforms by RNEC, a future medical student will have to take Chemistry, Biology, Physics and General Paper. All the three science subjects will be allocated seven hours a week.
The training which is being carried out by science teachers from the Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) will be done in all the four provinces, the next after Kigali will be in the Eastern Province.