TEACHER'S MIND : Success is the best advertisement

ANY ordinary person in Rwanda can identify the rather typical announcement kind of adverts that patronise our radio airwaves. In these adverts, there is always a high-pitched male voice spelling out the details of the advert to the listeners. With the new academic year just at around the corner, so many adverts of new and old schools are gracing the airwaves.

ANY ordinary person in Rwanda can identify the rather typical announcement kind of adverts that patronise our radio airwaves. In these adverts, there is always a high-pitched male voice spelling out the details of the advert to the listeners.

With the new academic year just at around the corner, so many adverts of new and old schools are gracing the airwaves.

The goal is to lure new students to join a particular school that claims to have the best teachers, modern science laboratories, wonderful dormitories and of course a computer lab among other amenities.

Privately owned schools have to invest a lot in advertising so as to attract students who will pay and thus help the owners to recoup their investment and make some profit at the end of the day. On the other hand, government owned schools always get the cream of the top performers each year.

Radio is the preferred media since it reaches a wider audience as compared to print media or television.

Advertising became the best strategy of beating tough competition in most market situations. Even market leaders like MTN in the telecoms sector always advertise just to keep a strong brand presence in the people’s mind.

It is therefore a smart move for a school, especially a private owned school to engage in some form of advertisement. I still remember those days when Riviera High School had huge moving billboards on all the Jaguar Executive buses. This was aimed at introducing the school on the Rwandan and Ugandan market.

The adverts later disappeared from the buses but the desire to attract students persisted. This did not imply in anyway that Riviera was done with advertising.

The recent release of examination results opened my mind to the fact that success is actually one of the best forms of advertising.

Apart from the tradition religious-based schools, a couple of relatively new schools posted some wonderful results. At the primary level, Kigali Parents School had the top twelve slots to itself.

This alone is enough to counter all the radio averts running on radio for primary schools.

The ‘O’ level results had impressive performances from newer schools like Riviera High School, Sunrise High School and Nu-Vision High School which all appeared among the top 20 schools. Kellen Neza of Riviera High School actually emerged the overall best O level student in the whole country.

With such success, these new schools have their advertising work clearly cut out for them. They do not have to labour so hard on radio explaining why new students should consider joining them.

This recent success will surely draw so many new students to these schools with the hope that the magic touch of these schools’ teachers can help them to be the next Kellen Nezas of this world.

I cannot think of a better advertising strategy than aiming for such success. This success accords the schools free but very vital publicity in the media. Without paying a single cent, Riviera, Sunrise and Nu-Vision managed to make it to mainstream print and electronic media.

The same applies to Kigali Parents School which virtually kept other competitors at bay by producing the top twelve performers at the primary level.

There are quite a number of older private schools that have perpetually failed to up their game as far as academic achievements are concerned. These are annoyingly the same schools that currently struggling to meet decent sanitary levels in order to be allowed to open.

The owners of such schools only invested in radio adverts instead of endeavouring to attract good teachers and putting up suitable conditions for their students to excel at the national level.

Private schools should therefore strive for success by organising themselves and working hard for better results.

Wonderful results are the best form of advertisement for these schools. Even Rwanda as a country has managed to attract investors by cleaning up its image.

ssenyonga@gmail.com

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