With only days to the opening of the third term, the Rwandan government has order closure of some 57 secondary schools over their state of facilities.
Most of these learning institutions are run by or affiliated to the Catholic Church including the renowned Saint Andre in Nyamirambo and Groupe Officiel de Butare — built in 1929.
The Ministry of Education ordered the shutdown after its inspectors visited about 90 schools and found that some had poor hygiene and sanitation, inadequate accommodation facilities, deficient lighting, unutilised ICT equipment and school management problems.
The inspection, carried out earlier this week, was a follow up exercise to confirm if recommendations the ministry had given in previous reports had been implemented.
“These are secondary schools and predominantly boarding schools. Our inspectorate reports indicated negligence in hygiene mostly in kitchens, lavatories and dormitories.
“We also found some did not have enough food for boarding students while others had shelved computers given to them in the ongoing smart-classrooms programme,” said Dr Eugene Mutimura, the Minister of Education.
He said the schools have seven days to address the issues raised by his ministry.
“We are confident that at least within this time frame, if the headteachers, the parents and the leaders of the schools work hard they are able to complete what is required of them, but we shall hold them accountable if they fail to do so, because we are not asking them the impossible,” Dr Mutimura said.
But for some schools, it will be a tough order to fund the renovations.
The Groupe Officiel de Butare managers said they estimate an upgrade of its structures to cost Rwf1 billion ($1.1 million).