When exam results go online

Last week, Senior Six results for the 2010 national examinations were released. In the evening of that day, I walked into an internet café in Remera to download documents that a friend had sent me. Armed with my flash disk and some money, I was shocked to find the internet café fully packed with so many young people.

Last week, Senior Six results for the 2010 national examinations were released. In the evening of that day, I walked into an internet café in Remera to download documents that a friend had sent me.

Armed with my flash disk and some money, I was shocked to find the internet café fully packed with so many young people.

The first thing I did was to inquire from the café’s attendant whether a free computer would soon be available. I was lucky to find one and so I quickly walked towards it. On my way, I noticed something odd. Most of the computer screens had sky-blue backgrounds with a rectangular lemon-green strip at the centre.

When I settled down, I peered at my neighbour’s computer and saw that he was intently checking for his results from the Rwanda National Examinations Council (RNEC) website. And so was everyone else.

I was taken aback by the sight of so many young, enthusiastic faces embracing internet technology. Several students hovered over the computers forming small clusters in the room.

Armed with small pieces of paper, the youngsters quickly wrote down the details of their results. There were some scenes of excitement as many got the good news that they had passed with flying colours.

I was not spared when one student politely asked me to search for his results. I honestly told him that I was not sure of how it was done and directed him to my neighbour who helped out.

The next morning while at my place, I was also swarmed by people who would not take no for an answer—they begged me to check for their results on my computer. I had to go to the website and navigate my way around until I got it right.

To their credit, the RNEC website is quite user friendly and it even had details of how to get the results by SMS direct to your phone.

Later on, I found myself reminiscing on how things were done in the recent past. About four years ago, once the results were released, students waited for a day or two for the School Headmaster or Director of Studies to go to the district to pick the results. Then they would all flock to the school to find out their performance.

As if that was not enough, more called me (and other teachers) asking about their performance. The phrase, “Teacher, bimeze bite?” became all too familiar back in the day.

It was always such a fuss to memorise all the results and be on stand-by to recite the exact ones for each student who called. One time I told a student that he had passed but, when I checked the following morning, he had not.

The government’s tireless efforts to boost ICT usage are bearing fruit. It is also commendable that a crucial body like RNEC made the timely decision to embrace the internet.

Students can now access exam results from any part of the world with internet connection.

ssenyonga@gmail.com

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