on Annemiek Miller (Rwanda), 25/Mar/2008 12:02, 34 days ago
Feb 11This is Monday, February 11 and the school year started January 7, 2008 for all students except those entering First and Fourth form in the secondary school.Those entering first form wrote the sixth form primary national exam at the end of October 2007 and the results came out almost 3 months later on Thursday January 24th. These students then had to have a school chosen for them by their principals who all went to a meeting and this took almost 3 weeks. Students have to find school fees– about $60- plus a list of materials such as mattress, sheets, towels, a pail, a uniform , notebooks, pens etc that can come to about $40.This is a stressful time for parents who not only have to find the fees bit also may not agree with the choice of high school and who have then to go and stand in line at a school they want, to see of the principal will have their child.Almost the same is true for the fourth former. They were able to choose 3 schools last year in form 3 and choose a section for the lat 3 years of high school. Sections might be accounting, literature, biology/chemistry, maths/physics, social sciences, primary school teacher training. They mostly get a school they did not choose. All principals go to Kigali for two days and fight this out– don’t ask me how – with the end result being that students also shop around to try top change the school.Why am I bringing this up well, it just seems that these exams take a very long time to correct and that these students will have been out of school for the first 5 weeks of the school year, making the break a total of three and a half months.I have had my usual crowd of students beating down the doors of both my house and office. Many of these students were in touch with me 3 weeks ago as soon as they had their marks. I was please at their consideration to come and see if they were still being supported by Jenny– who is back in England- or by my church or one of my other contacts back in Canada. Others however came today expecting me to hand them the money for their school fees. One boy who failed miserably would not take no for an answer and I had to take him outside the office and ask him to leave.Today alone, I had 5 people come and talk to me. It is wearing to say the least.I am also getting back into the school visits to see how my teachers are doing with their mentoring.This week we have the nursery school teachers in for a training.Not too exciting. Will write more later.