Back to school

Jan 17 2017

This is the time of year when we face the chaos of kitting our group of Nyamirambo children out to go back to school at the start of a new year. The process is not as chaotic as in previous years. Because most of our children are in secondary school, the equipment is provided by the school. All we have to do is pay for it. We have seen the time when we have scoured the market with half a class of children in tow.

As with much in Rwanda, the education system seems to be in a state of perpetual evolution. The curriculum at least appears to have become standard across schools. After three years at secondary school the children sit another set of national exams having sat one set of papersvthree years previously at the end of primary. These later exams decide whether the child goes on to specialise in a set of academic subjects or into more vocational learning.

Subjects being taught vary from economics to electronic engineering. This is all good education, but what is becoming apparent to us is that with each year that passes, the cost is increasing. Primary education is expensive enough for many Rwandans and in European terms relatively cheap. Once in secondary school the cost of a years' schooling multiplies between four and ten times. For many, this level of education can only ever be a dream.