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Rwanda government sticks to old national exams calendar

November 15, 2021

Original Article:

The Ministry of Education plans to maintain initial dates for national examinations for all candidate classes despite previous changes in the second term of the academic year.

The national examinations for all levels; primary, ordinary level and advanced level of secondary education will take place in July.

Following a rather successful first term, the second term especially for schools based in Kigali saw some changes on the calendar after the government imposed a lockdown over the capital.

The lockdown which went underway in Kigali at the beginning of January 2021 was attributed to an upsurge in Covid-19 cases in the capital, after many people are said to have let their guard down during the festive season.

Lasting nearly five weeks, the lockdown affected academic progress of learners with some, especially candidates, proposing amendments to the national examinations calendar.

One of the concerned students, Marie Harerimana, senior six candidate at Lycee de Kigali, said in an earlier interview that while it might be possible to cover the syllabus, there will be little to no time for revision.

“We are still working hard to finish the content of senior six, leaving little to no time for us to revise what we covered in senior four and five so as to be ready for the national exam,” she said.

Harerimana fears that the time she spent without studying parallel with her up-country colleagues, might affect her, given that their upcountry colleagues were studying all along.

Like Harerimana, similar concerns emerged from other students who argued that there was need for measures to help them recoup the time lost.

In response however, the government introduced weekend lessons for the Kigali-based schools, primarily focusing on the principle subjects.

This has prompted government to maintain its initial dates for the national examinations, optimistic that no student will be left behind.

Gaspard Twagirayezu, Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education told The New Times in an interview on Tuesday that preparations for national exams are underway, and that progress made is promising.

Without revealing numbers, he said that students are currently being registered, citing that examination papers have been prepared.

As part of his message to the candidates, Twagirayezu commended efforts demonstrated, and also challenged them to keep the same energy for the final ‘papers’.

“Even if you are studying in difficult conditions, study hard. Not only to pass exams, but to acquire base of knowledge that will broaden your chances in your post-secondary life.”


According to the minister, Primary Leaving Examinations are set to begin July 12 through 14.

For candidates in the ordinary level (Senior Three), examinations will start on July 20 through 27. While Advanced Level candidates will begin examinations on July 20 up to July 27, with practical exams stretching up to July 30.

On the other hand, TVET practical examinations are slated to begin from June 16 until June 25.


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