Officials at Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS) say they have a total of 22 inmates across the country prepared to sit for this Year’s National Examinations in both O and A Level.
RCS told KT Press that they have prepared their candidates for national exams and expect them to pass with flying colours.
According to Rwanda Education Board (REB), 237,182 candidates will sit for Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) which will kick-off on November 13th. Among these, seventeen are inmates including a female. Last year only 11 inmates sat for national exams.
Five other candidates will sit for the O level exams whose total is 98,268 candidates registered.
Jean Nepomscene Uzabumwana an inmate and head teacher of the training centre in Nyagatare prison told KT Press, “My students are more than ready for national exams.”
He said that Inmates do not access teachers from outside instead they are taught by both prison wardens and fellow inmates.
Nyagatare correctional center has no registered examination centre instead candidates go along with prison wardens every morning to a nearby secondary school during examination period.
Among the candidates for the Primary Leaving Examination is a 16-year old (name withheld) serving a 3-year sentence.
“I always read weeks ahead to my exams. I’m confident of passing the exams,” He said.
The candidates are part of the second intake of inmates that are allowed to sit for national exams.
Despite eagerness for the inmates to pass national exams, the remaining puzzle is to know how they will pursue their education farther.
Last year, RCS had the same problem when 11 pupils at Nyagatare juvenile prison sat for Primary Leaving Examination and 5 children sat for O’ level exams and 2 of them passed in first division.
RCS had only one option; “enrolling them at Nyagatare high school where prison wardens can accompany them to school every morning,” Chief Inspector of Prisons (CIP) Hilary Sengabo told KT Press then.
Fortunately, President Paul Kagame pardoned juvenile inmates that sat and passed Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) and Secondary school national exams 2016.
CIP Sengabo told KT Press, that they still don’t know the fate of O’ level candidates because they don’t have Advanced Level section.
“We appealed to Ministry of Education to start Advanced Level in Prison but we have no answer yet. The remaining option would be in case the president pardons the children to have a chance to pursue higher education,” CIP Sengabo told KT Press on Wednesday.