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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What made best student succeed

Niyongabo Kwibuka from Petit Seminaire Ndera was the third best student in 2012 O-level exams and attributed the good performance to reading hard. “I did not have time to waste that I even read for a few more minutes after the rest had gone to bed. I realised that someone cannot achieve his expectations unless they invest more time,” he told The New Times yesterday. The teenager, who wants to become a civil engineer, intends to continue studying Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics at A-level. Pascal Tuyisenge, the Director of Studies at the same school, mentioned that they put much emphasis on discipline, reading hard as well as getting competent teachers to guide the students. He, however, observed that though the school was performing better they lacked enough teaching materials like books, which he said was hindering their operations. “We would fare better if the Ministry of Education provided all the needed books for us to buy otherwise it will continue hurting the sector,” he said yesterday, adding that Mineduc should also consider private schools as well instead of putting most focus on public schools. The New Times

Mineduc pushes for knowledge transfer

The Ministry of Education has entered a partnership with industries that will encourage higher learning institutions to share research findings with manufacturers. The programme, dubbed Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KFP), was launched last week in Kigali. The Minister of Education, Dr. Vincent Biruta, explained that under the partnership, a business seeking to implement a strategic project will get an academic or research partner to provide essential knowledge and a graduate to manage the project. KFP is the follow up on a report of a study carried out three years ago, that was aimed at mapping science and technology for industry development in the country by linking research and development between industries and higher learning institutions. Being a part of KFP, the Higher Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, ISAE-Busogo, will significantly benefit as most available technologies, facilities and qualified staff are found in ISAE. According to the Director General for Science, Technology and Research in Mineduc, Dr. Marie Christine Gasingirwa, higher learning institutions produce a lot of information from their research but these are usually rendered useless information because they are not put to good use. “But with this, a very well developed graduate business leader will contribute strongly to the company where they are placed,” she said. Alexander Rutikanga, a lecturer and researcher in ISAE-BUSOGO, emphasised the importance of the partnership. “KTP programme will help ISAE realise skilled graduates due to possibility for a fruitful industrial attachment,” he said. The benefit is that research institutions and universities will become aware of the critical problem focusing on the research. Each partnership project will be provided with a budget of Rwf10 million per year per project for two years, to cover the cost for travel, academic time and development, graduate training and minor equipment. WHAT THEY SAY >Tony Mitchell, advisor to Ministry of Education: We hope the programme will be successful since KTP has been used successfully in the UK for 40 years. >Claudien Gashagaza, director of administration at SULFO-RWANDA: Through KTP, Rwanda is going to be developed. There will be no need to spend a lot of money recruiting engineers abroad. >Pr. Deogratias Niyibizi, Rector of INES-Ruhengeri: The programme would make a positive impact in producing research. This way, graduate students put into practice what they have learnt and interact with industries. The New Times

Best girl student wants medicine

Hope Uwera, 13, of Bright Academy in Nyagatare who emerged the best female performer in the 2012 Primary Leaving Examinations wants to become a doctor. She also emerged fourth best pupil countrywide. Uwera attributed her performance to hard work, group work on top of support from parents and teachers as well as self motivation. “I started reading seriously in P3. I used to read various papers and revised even what I had studied in P2,” the jolly pupil, dressed in her former school uniform, said. “I followed my teachers’ advice and spent time with my classmates discussing our notes or solving some tough questions.” Surprisingly Uwera says she was an average performer but that her target was to finally perform well in national exams and she injected some extra effort. “I remember when I was in P1, I used to be the tenth, and similarly in P2, I was among the top 10 best performers until I was in P3,” she says. She remembers in the first term of P5 she was the sixth and the tenth in second term. “When I knew that someone performs better than I did, I approached them and asked them to study with me. I used to learn much from them while sharing what I knew, I also used to help those who were not good and finally all candidates passed the national exams,” Uwera says. Despite all her efforts and hard work, Uwera says she had never dreamt that she would be the best female performer and fourth best country wide. “All I was sure of is that I would pass highly,” Uwera says. Uwera’s success impressed her so much and she hopes to work harder and perform better in secondary school, to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor. She recognises the support from her parents since nursery. “My parents have been my guides and without their mental and physical support, I would not be what I am now. They advised me on what to do and kept encouraging me. They told me to do the homework and revise everyday before sleeping,” she said, before crediting teachers for her success as well. Andrew Kabera, her father says his daughter demonstrated competence even when she was still young. “She liked to study and we helped her to get whatever she needed as parents. She used to occupy the best positions in class and we had hope she could make it and perform well,” said Kabera. “One day she asked us to let her join boarding section to study harder and we let her go,” said her mother. Emmanuel Rumanzi, the deputy director of the Bright Academy said Uwera, like other pupils, performed well at school thanks to the strategies the school uses to teach the students. “We take care of our pupils by providing quality education and even guide them, while encouraging them to work as a team. We also have good and motivated teachers,” says Rumanzi. About the school . . . Bright Academy School started in 1997 as a coaching school founded by a group of ten parents. The pupils used to study under the tree back then. In 2000, the first batch of six pupils sat for PLE and all passed. The school has emerged in top twenty in the country for past four years. The New Times

Youth start national service

Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, yesterday, launched the national voluntary service with more than 40,000 youth lined up to engage in the three-month service. The PM challenged the youth to emulate their forefathers and serve the nation diligently. “National service is not a new phenomenon in Rwanda. Our grandparents did it. It is all about nationalism and patriotism. Our youth will get a chance to fight evil in society and assist in developing the nation with hands-on experience,” the PM said. The programme, dubbed Urugerero, is an ancient, home-baked custom that has been resurrected and incorporated into society, spearheaded by the Itorero National Taskforce. The chairman of the taskforce, Boniface Rucagu, said awareness campaign on dangers of HIV/Aids, adult literacy and constructing teachers’ house are part of the activities to be conducted. Apart from the national launch, there were several other ceremonies in sectors and districts across the country. In Kigali City, Mayor Fidele Ndayisaba launched the service at Integrated Polytechnic Reintegration Centre. Ndayisaba said the youth will be serving in various activities related to the structure of the city which will lead to its development. “The youth are physically and mentally strong. They should strive to develop the country using that strength,” said Ndayisaba. Optimism in the air Promoting hygiene in the city, taxing business people, fighting against HIV/Aids, and conserving environment are among the activities for engagement. Sadam Rugamba, a participant from Niboyi sector, Kicukiro district, said he is ready to volunteer. “It is very important, though it is voluntary and requires sacrifice, I am ready to participate, we will be doing various activities and I hope we will be more productive,” said Rugamba . In three months, evaluation will done and certificates awarded to volunteers. Meanwhile, in Rwamagana district, the Prime Minister also launched a one-month drive dedicated to good governance in the country. Addressing residents of Rwamagana district, the premier said good governance is a prerequisite for sustainable development. “Our commitment to empower citizens to be self-reliant cannot be over emphasised. You know good service delivery, zero corruption, disease free society, and it must give a sense of responsibility to everyone,” he said. Habumuremye, who had earlier commissioned a public market in Ntunga sector, and teachers’ staff quarters at Rwamagana Primary School, said the government would continue supporting infrastructure development. By Stephen Rwembeho & Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

KIE students to resume studies

Seventy-three students of Kigali Institute of Education, who had been discontinued, will now resume studies after the Ministry of Education came to their rescue. The students were discontinued last year, one month after they were granted a scholarship by the Rwanda Education Board (REB), to study secretarial studies at KIE. According to a communiqué from the school to the students, REB released a second list comprising only 30 students out of 103 who had scored 50 marks out of 60, who were to be granted scholarship. The rest, according to the statement, would pay as private students or lose the chance to study at KIE. The first list of 103 students had been sanctioned by Workforce Development Authority (WDA) on November 26, 2012 but forwarded to KIE by REB . This meant the 73 students, most from poor backgrounds, had to leave the school premises. According to Prof. Wenceslas Nzabarirwa, the vice rector in charge of academic affairs at KIE, the problem was not for the school to sort out, since they received students who were under REB. REB cited financial constraints. “We looked at our budget and found we could only afford to pay for 30 students,” explained John Rutayisire, the director general of REB. That is how the victims, who had scored 45 marks out of 60, approached the Ministry of Education to solve their fate. On Friday, education minister Vincent Biruta met with the affected students and told them to go back to school since he was not aware of the issue. Minister Biruta said he would contact REB and KIE to try and sort out the mess. On Monday, KIE got a memo from REB that students have to resume studies because the problem had been solved. According to Rutayisire, there had been a problem of lack of communication. “We have discussed the issue with WDA and realised we would have consulted each other before coming up with the list of 103,” he said on Monday. “We started by granting the scholarships to those with higher scores and remained with more money so the rest can also be catered for.” Some of the affected students that The New Times spoke to said they were relieved the saga was over. “I cannot count how many times we went to Reb, WDA, and Mineduc after we were told we cannot continue studies,” said Claire Uwimana, one of the students. Her colleague, Valentine Uwimbabazi, said her parents cannot afford to pay for her tuition. “Most of us sold our property in order to find scholastic materials and we had started worrying about returning home without a valid reason to convince our parents why we are not going to study,” she said. By Seraphine Habimana