Selection test for admission to school of excellence characterized by irregularities

A selection test has been done by the best 6th graders throughout the country to be admitted to the seventh grade in the school of excellence. In Bujumbura city, the test began with a delay of over 3 hours, and cases of absence and cheating were also observed.

Pupils waiting to do the national selection test

Pupils waiting to do the national selection test

At the test center located at a school commonly known as ETS Kamenge in the north of Bujumbura, pupils from Ntahangwa urban commune began the test at 11:30 AM. Five minute later, a pupil of Ngagara fundamental school was asked to step out. Teachers said she was not qualified to sit for the test because she was the seventh in class while only the first five are allowed to take it.

Parents who have accompanied their children say there has been some injustice. “How can they forbid a child from doing the test while there are others who are not among the first five but are taking it? Some pupils have not been allowed to sit for the test while they are qualified. It seems like some directors have been bribed,” says a parent met on the spot.

Léopold Niyungeko, director of education in Ntahangwa municipality, says this flaw was noticed and adds that an investigation has to be conducted to identify the guilty. “If it is proved that there has been some cheating, those will be found guilty will be punished accordingly,” says Niyungeko.

Pupils from Mukaza municipality were gathered at Lycée Municipal Rohero in the city center. The test started at 11: 25a.m. Nestor, a parent whom Iwacu met on the spot, complained about the delay and said it would affect pupils’ results. “We were asked to arrive here at 7:30 a.m. but the test had not yet begun at 11:15. Pupils are tired, hungry and frustrated. This must affect their results,” he said.

Nestor also asks the ministry to publish the results of this test. “This is the only test of which pupils have no right to get the feedback after the selection process. Pupils neither get papers to see the results nor do parents know what the requirements are to pass the test”.

In Muha municipality in the south of Bujumbura, pupils were grouped at a school commonly known as Lycée de la Convivialité in Kanyosha. Like in Mukaza, the test had not yet begun at 11:10 a.m. Claver Ndikuriyo, director of education in Muha municipality, says they’ve got the exam late. “Pupils had to wait for it,” he said.

Mr. Ndikuriyo also says many pupils have not come to do the test. “We have realized many cases of absence. Maybe it is because the test is done during holidays and some pupils are upcountry,” he says.

The same case was observed at ETS School where around 3O schools have not sent their pupils to do the test.
Hilaire Baransharitse, member of the commission in charge of the test, confirms the fact that the results for the first two editions were not shown. “However, the results for this edition will be shown,” says Baransharitse.

The school of excellence opened for 7th graders in Burundi for the first time in 2016. There is one school in each of the four education districts throughout the country. Candidates are selected through a national test. For this third edition, around 25 thousand pupils from all over the country were expected to sit for the test.

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