At the beginning of 2015, Clement Musangabatware and his wife called their daughter for an important negotiation.
Their daughter, Asante Musangabatware Carine, 12, was starting her final year at GS St. Ignace Primary School a Jesuits school at Kibagabaga, Gasabo district.
“We want to sign a contract of performance. You will just tell us what you expect us to do for you so that you can honor us at the end of this academic year,” Asante’s father said.
Asante told her parents; “I like traveling because it helps me relax and discover a lot about the world. Promise me to pay me a ticket to any foreign country whenever we close a term and leave me the rest.”
The deal was sealed, and everyone returned into their routine duties.
Musangabatware told KT Press that the statement was intended to prepare his daughter for greater performance in the national examinations.
Although Asante had always scored good grades in class, her parents wanted her to perform higher.
Asante’s parents bought textbooks and asked her to read hard; “do everything in right time; there is a time to read and a time to relax, a time to study and to do sport. You shouldn’t do anything without break.”
With mounting pressure, Asante needed a private coach, but her parents suggested to her to, “do your best and get everything right from your teachers in school time, the rest is needless.”
“I was obliged to stop some entertainment to study heard, combining readings from my teachers handouts and reading books to have a wider understanding,” Asante told KT Press.
According to Musangabatware, his daughter practiced karate, her favorite game, during free time.
After three consecutive terms, Asante emerged top of her class, earning her a right to travel to the UK.
Her biggest dream was to visit the UK ,“to keep discovering what doctors are discovering because I want to become a medical doctor.”
Asante said, “I prayed to God to help me score greatly and my prayer was heard.” She was nicknamed ‘Doctor’ because she always repeats becoming a pediatrician.
Asante scored 5 aggregates- the highest score (Excellence), and is among the top 32 pupils who scored the highest grades nationwide. Of the best nationwide, 18 were girls and 14 boys.
“When I learnt about my results from my father, I was so excited, as I thanked the Lord,” she said.
Meanwhile, other schools that produced the best students this year include Kigali Parents School, based in Gasabo district, Kigali with four candidates in the top ten and Groupe Scolaire Kabgayi in Muhanga district.
Kigali Parents, a private school is showing consistency in producing best students.
According to Gershom Buzale, Deputy Headmaster of the School, last year the school had around 200 candidates who passed all with first division. The school expects to have the same performance with 171 candidates this year.
“We have many strategies; we group students according to their performance,” said Buzale.
Every level has 5 parallel classes named after planets, from Mercury to Neptune.
Mercury is a class of top performers, while Neptune is the lower performers. The pupils receive the same education and facilities. The only difference is that teachers spend much more time to help the least performers understand.
“We are allowing competition to happen; whoever performs greatly is promoted to the greater level. Whoever relaxes and fails is demoted; everyone fights to be the best,” says Buzale.
And in O-Level, two girls including Teta Mbabazi and Teta Kangwagye Sheilla, all from GS Maranyundo in Nyamata, Bugesera district scored the first and second places respectively.
They came on top of 23 best students who scored 8 aggregates.
“We have taught our children to do the right thing in the right time, and most importantly, to pray because it is the key foundation of our success,” has said Mother Constance, the school bursar.
Lycee de Kigali in Nyarugenge district, Ecole Secondaire de Byimana in Muhanga district and Petit Seminaire Rwesero from Gicumbi have also candidates among the top ten best students.
In the 2015 National exams, a greater number of girls passed, compared to their male counterparts.
Of the 160,357 students who registered for PLE 136,007 sat the exams and 132,698 students, corresponding to 84.5% passed.
These include 54.67% girls and 45.33% boys.
In O-Level, 88,426 students registered, and 86,461 sat the exams. Of this number, 74,851 students passed, with girls representing 51.70% compared to 48.30% boys.
Meanwhile, Asante says she will pursue Maths, Biology and Chemistry (MCB), preferably at GS Notre Dame de Citeaux or Fawe Girls School, all in Kigali.