Since September 22, students have started to pass through the hands of parents, or to say the least, parents and teachers are going to share the role of education and parenting with teachers/schools, at least for the next three months.
It is the start of the 2022/2023 academic year and every budget, every calculation and every planning is mindful of the school reopening date, generally September 26, 2022.
To fit in the context, parents who earn their wages at the end of the month also suggest that their employers should deposit their earnings a week earlier.
The maths is even more complicated for those families where a new child is starting school or families which have relocated to a much distant place, way further from school which affects transport costs.
Or the other way round; some families that came to the school proximity, but having to pay double the rent “to cut transport expenses.”
This is without forgetting families that decided to take their children to different schools, including more expensive ones, among other scenarios.
Inevitably, parents are going to sacrifice something to have children in school whatever the cost.
On the other side, schools’ officials say that they are ready to welcome every student, provided that they come well in order. The preparations are in accordance with every schools’ standards.
Thus, Riviera High School Principal says that the Cambridge and BTEC programs have already started, but the government program is also due to start on Monday, September 26.
He said that they will continue to treat children with balanced diet.
“We don’t offer any day schooling, ours is entirely boarding. We provide a balanced diet prescribed by a nutritionist. We have a nutritionist who comes out there to test what amounts to a balanced diet,” he said.
“We provide quality food here; we give them chicken, fish when it’s available but it’s basically chicken or fish. We give them chips, then pizza…beans to mention quite a few.”
The good thing, he said, is that we all-including myself-dine with them.
Parents will have to agree with “a slight increase” on school fees, the intention only being to “adjust with the price increment on the market,” according to the school principle.
Umurerwa Jacklin, Principle of GS Camp Kanombe in Nyarugunga Sector, Kicukiro District which is a-12-year basic education said they are this year adding two more rooms given the plan to add pupils from primary 1-2 to single shift.
Today, the school carried up a meeting with teachers to provide school materials for them to kick off with programs from Monday, September 26.
The school will open with welcome exams to see whether students did not go into holidays only to forget about school.
Boarding students off to school
As the official date to reopen school is Monday September 26, the Ministry of Education, through a task force which involves education officials, transport operators and regulators organised transport to school effective September 22 for boarding students.
The students board from a specific site in Kigali and provinces.
“This allows us to have all students to school at the same time, without struggle in transport challenges. It is a transport where schools, parents and officials in education are sure of safety,” said Vianney Augustine Kavutse, Deputy Director in Charge of Quality assurance at NESA.
Students are going back to school with plans to do wonders.
From Nyamirambo regional stadium, Ishimwe Fadia going to Senior 3 at Our Mother of Apostles High School in Rwaza, Eastern Province says: “I want to improve so that I get the programme which I want to take at A Level.”
Ishimwe scored 70 last year, but she believes she can do way better this academic year by “being really attentive and respecting teachers.”
“I will be proud of the outcomes and make my parents happy,” she said.
Students going back to school will no wonder need a lot, from scholastic materials to uniforms among others, but the private sector is ready for that.
Angilbert Ingabire, Director of Librairie Caritas, a renowned library in capital Kigali says: “Despite the shipping prices, we have got all it takes to serve both the local and international schools.”
Ingabire has shipped 1500 boxes of notebooks for this academic year. He had to do it earlier, conscious of transport challenges.
In other areas, Jonathan Nshimyumuremyi a professional tailor has got a tender for four schools’ uniform, each ordering more than 400 clothes on which he also places school emblems.
“We deliver 400 clothes within two weeks,” he said.
For the rest, parents like one Uwineza expects her son Hirwa Don Axel who is going in Senior three to “just study, respect his teachers and then pray to leave the rest to God.”