Primary and ‘O’ levels graduates will be starting school soon. The process of choosing which school to join to enroll your child is never an easy one.
Just before sitting for their examinations, students are given an opportunity to list the schools they would wish to join. Those who manage to perform well certainly join the schools of their choice.
The dilemma now goes to those students who do not perform well enough to get schools of their choices. The choices they may have listed before their examinations now become less meaningful and therefore, the process has to start all over again.
Today, schools in Rwanda are now as many as they differ. This therefore ends up compounding the process of selection.
There are many private schools have been established recently to ease the pressure on the government run schools and the religious based ones.
Tips while selecting schools
The first and most important of all factors is the school fees. How much does the school charge, and what do they offer in return? Some schools charge exorbitant fees that do not match with output.
Another important question is whether you as a parent can afford to pay the mount demanded. Short of this, your child will be haunted by the school bursar every school term.
That is if he will even be allowed to join the school in the first place. Do not bank on your friendship with a teacher or headmaster. This could change anytime. Also distance between home and school matters.
If it is a day school, then the distance must be convenient for your child to walk or take a taxi and arrive in time for studies. Boarding schools also need not be too far as the transport costs may become a burden has well.
You may even consider the distance to the nearest health centre if your child is sickly. Just like in the advertisements made by the schools, a parent must also pay attention to the facilities offered at school. Does it have a library, science laboratories? What about a computer room?
Recreation facilities should also be considered because you do not want the proverbial dull Jack. Try to find out the state of the boarding and sanitation facilities too. Aspects like student population in relation to the facilities available can help a lot in determining hygiene levels.
Your child should be in a decent school not a replica of a crowded refugee camp. For those joining A level, it is very important to find out whether the school you wish to join or take your child has got particular study sections that your child wishes to take on. Some schools only have Humanities while others offer only Sciences.
Last but not least is that one must check out the school’s academic and disciplinary records. As far as academics is concerned, one needs to join a school where he/she has hope of performing well not a mediocre school where your child will be expected to revamp performance and make history.
Discipline too is crucial. Some schools have a reputation of being sanctuaries for indiscipline. Others have been noted for harbouring deadly Genocide ideologies. Your child ought to go to a school that takes discipline seriously since it is a pillar of success.
There are thousands of factors that I may not be able to discuss in this space but the above are quite crucial and need to be given due attention before one chooses a school for their child.