Friday, 11 October 2013

Burera District mayor Samuel Sembagare discussing the issue of school dropouts

The problem of School dropouts in Burera district has become an issue of concern, but the district has vowed to see the problem completely stopped in a period of two years. This issue has also been incorporated in the district performance contracts

The dropout issue came to light after many children in Primary and Secondary Schools were discovered to be dropping out of the school, a hindrance to their future.

According to district officials, Many of the school dropouts become house helps in the towns and Kigali city, others cross the border to do labour work in the neighbouring Uganda while others end up being wonderers.

m_Burera moves to tackle school dropout scourge

Burera District mayor Samuel Sembagare discussing the issue of school dropouts

Some of these school leavers work at Cyanika border of Uganda and Rwanda, helping travelers to carry their luggage for money. Some of them are said to be participating in smuggling between the Uganda and Rwanda border.

The Burera Mayor Samuel Sembagare says that the issue of school drop outs will be solved through team work among teachers, parents and the local leaders.

“We are going to introduce the register books to show the presence and absence of students in schools. Parents will also need to make follow up on the participation of their children in school activities.”

According to the mayor, every teacher will have to make a follow up on any student who misses school once or twice.  The teacher will need to inform the school administration, invite the parents over and know why the students are not attending the school.

School head teachers in Burera district say that the problem of school dropouts can only be eradicated if parents who encourage their children to drop out of schools are punished.

Alexis Nsanzabaganwa the Head Teacher of Nyamiyagacya Primary School says “it is evident that when a parent takes a child out of school and is not fined, the parent does so again and again when the need arises. He says that parents need to be part of this and realize that education is the child’s right.”

Nsanzabaganwa goes on to explain that head teachers collect the names of children who dropped out of school and give them to local leaders. Local leaders in turn encourage parents to send their children back to school and after a few days, they again take their children out of schools.

Sembagare says parents that will instigate their children to drop out of the schools will be sensitized, but will be punished in case they continue urging their children to drop out of school.

The continuous decrease of students in schools was also noticed by the Minister of Education Dr Vincent Biruta. during his visit to Burera district in 2012.

In 2008, about138,000 pupils sat for the final Primary School examination in Burera district but only 77, 000 finished Ordinary level of secondary school (O’ level) in 2011. Others dropped out of the school along the way in  big numbers.

Burera District mayor Samuel Sembagare discussing the issue of school dropouts


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