Rwanda Education Board (REB) says it has nothing to do with the leakage of Miss Rwanda 2020 Naomi Nishimwe national exam results pointing out that the students and schools are in charge of ensuring that their index numbers are not exposed.
On Monday February 24, the Ministry of Education and REB released the Advanced Level (A’ Level) and Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) candidates for the 2019 academic year.
Soon after the results came out, a screenshot of the results of Nishimwe, who was crowned Miss Rwanda 2020 on February 22, circulated widely on social media platforms, with sections of users saying that she underperformed.
The 19-year old was trolled and ridiculed by many, with some making fun of her while others came to her defence, instead blaming REB for allowing people to access results online which are not their own. The leak triggered a massive debate on social media.
“REB does not expose the marks of each and every student to the general public space. Therefore, we request students and schools to keep their Index Numbers and Passwords as confidential use. Thank you,” REB responded to a query on Twitter.
The REB Public Relations Offficer Innocent Hagenimana explained to KT Press that only school heads and students can access the marks using their index numbers and passwords but REB has little control on accessibility especially if students know each other’s index number.
“Technically, she is the only one who is supposed to know her index number as well as the school but it is possible that classmates can also estimate her index number and then extract her results but they are supposed to be confidential,”
“The fact that she is now a public figure, her friends or classmates will go an extra mile to get her results but on our part we don’t make the results public,” Hagenimana said.
Some social media users like Journalist Basile Uwimana argued that there is nothing wrong with her results going public because even back in the day, examination results would be hanged on the school noticeboard as well as at the local government offices.
“I don’t see anything bad there. I remember the time when our results for the nation examinations were displayed at our districts until the papers become yellow,” Uwimana said.
Others argued that the beauty queen should not be judged by her examination performance but her skills and talents. Nishimwe got two principle passes in Geography and Entrepreneurship but did not pass Economics and Math, while in General Paper she got a subsidiary.
Some like Dr Lonzen Rugira say it is REB’s duty to protect student grades, given the confidentiality they carry.
“REB can do a better job protecting private information. It’s similar to your doctor releasing your medical records. The skills that made her Miss Rwanda are not academic skills,”
“Exams test what exams test. She performed badly at what was tested and was clearly good at what wasn’t,” the academic and commentator said while Lucy Mbabazi argued that she shouldn’t be judged by her exam performance.
“Passing exams is important in current construct but not everything in making it in life. If these are indeed her results, she has a chance to put in the work and pass them. What is most pathetic is people rejoicing in this and circulating it like it is good news,” Mbabazi said.
In a bid to improve the quality of education, during the 17th National Leadership Retreat, it was agreed among the resolutions that automatic student promotion practice will be discontinued and reinforce a merit-based system to prioritize quality in education.