Students return for the start of second term in April. (T. Kisambira)
Students return for the start of second term in April. (T. Kisambira)

Education minister Silas Lwakabamba said, last week, that the reporting date was changed to allow completion of renovation and construction of classrooms in some schools.

Students return for the start of second term in April. (T. Kisambira)
Students return for the start of second term in April. (T. Kisambira)

However, Prof. Lwakabamba said the duration for Academic Year 2015 remains the same.

According to the calendar, first term will end on April 3, while the second term will start on April 20 and end on July 31.

Third term will commence on August 17 with the school year closing on November 6.

Teachers and parents who talked to this paper expressed mixed reactions.

While some welcomed the extension, others said it was not a good idea.

Gershom Buzaale, deputy principal Kigali Parents School, said extending holidays to cover almost three months would affect the syllabus coverage.

They should have extended to at the most the second week (of January) as syllabus coverage will be hard more especially for the candidate classes Primary Six and Senior Six that will be preparing for the national examinations, said Buzaale.

He also said the second term will now take 15 weeks, too long for both students and teachers.

?Informed decision?

However, Alex Mushumba, the head teacher of Martyrs Secondary School in Kigali, said there was no worry about completing the syllabus since the missed days were carried forward into the second term.

?I think it was an informed decision [extending the holiday], though, as a teacher, it would be fine for students to start early,? said Mushumba.

Laban Barongo, a teacher at Lycee de Kigali, said the extension gives teachers time to go through the festive days without worrying about preparing scheme of work and a chance to work on their other projects.

Barongo called on parents to closely monitor their children as students take advantage of holidays to engage in anti-social behaviors.

He also advised stakeholders to come up with some programmes to keep students occupied during holidays such as debates and other discussion forums in their respective places.

Sarah Mujawimana, a parent, welcomed the extension, saying it was properly timed because parents will have got their monthly salaries after spending a lot during festive days.

?It is always difficult to raise fees for the first term as it is too soon after the festive season during which parents spend a lot of money. I am going to look for private coaching teachers to help my children in the interim,? she said.

However, Angelique Uwineza, a mother of two children in secondary school, said it was bad to have pushed holidays because ?her children spend all their time watching films and will are a pain to handle.?

By Vincent Munyamariza, The New Times

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