School of Excellence Candidates under-informed about selection test

Candidates for the School of Excellence in municipal Bujumbura Education Direction claim they didn’t know well who was eligible for the selection test. The Director says it was probably due to changes in the eligibility instructions.

6th grade candidates for the School of Excellence sitting for the selection test

6th grade candidates for the School of Excellence sitting for the selection test

Some candidates for the school of excellence selection test did not have necessary information about who would do the test and where they would do it. Parents who went to Ngagara Lycée with their children testify. “We could not find anyone to give us precise information. Teachers and school headmasters told us to go and ask elsewhere”, said one mother. “The headmaster had not included the name of my daughter on the list of candidates”, said another mother who brought her daughter only some minutes before the end of the first test. The pupil was nevertheless allowed to do it. The headmaster of Buterere II primary school had told the mother that only the best pupil of the three 6th grade classes was eligible.

Another mother said it was later after she had pressed the headmaster that her child was added to the list”. Like the previous mother, she was initially told that only one pupil was eligible for the contest. But she insisted because she knew her child was the first in her class. She deplored the fact that two candidates at the Kamesa primary school where her child studies did not do the exam though the latter had managed to do it. “My child is taking the test, but what about the two others? What have they done to miss this opportunity when they deserved it?” she said.

A young man whose little brother from Gasenyi II school could not participate because he came too late said: “We consistently asked the headmaster about the place of the test, but he told us he didn’t know. Only a moment ago, he told us he finally knew where the test was taking place”.

The Municipal Education Director Rénovat Nzeyimana blames the parents but partly acknowledges that those parents may have been misled by changes in the instructions. “According to initial instructions, only one pupil from every school could participate, but some headmasters could not follow the directives. So as to be fair, we asked the ministry to allow us to do the same since it was too late for those headmasters to exclude wrong names from the lists”, he explained.

He added that beside that problem, there was nothing else that could justify the claims of the parents. “Necessary information was transmitted via the radio and posted at different district education offices”, he said.

Nzeyimana said that of the 225 registered pupils, 74 were absent. There were 30 non-registered who were added as their school reports proved they were eligible candidates. According to him, participants from municipal and rural Bujumbura took the test at Ngagara and Saint Marc Lycées respectively.

The test, which was done throughout the country, will help in selecting candidates for the 7th grade of the School of Excellence that will open this 2016-2017 school year. The test subjects were French and Maths.