On Thursday, October 29, the first group of boarding students returning to school departed from the Kigali Stadium in Nyamirambo at exactly 8:00 am.
The move is part of the government’s plan to help boarding students get buses in a bid to facilitate them as they return to their respective schools to resume physical classrooms after more than seven months of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Ministry of Education, the exercise of returning back to school will end on Sunday, November 1. And on Monday, November 2, lessons are expected to begin.
As part of the phased reopening, only students in the two candidate classes, (S6 and S3), senior five students, and those in Level 3-5 for the TVET program are expected to return to their schools.
Also to resume in-person class sessions on Monday, are primary five and six students in all schools.
The New Times sought to get reactions from the returning students who expressed happiness but also talked about the preparedness of the Covid-19 situation at school.
Adeline Keza Uwera, Senior three, Ecole Secondaire Mutunda
To me, this is an exciting moment. Previously most of us thought that this was going to become a dead year. So we are happy that we are going back to school.
Some students were challenged by digital learning because of the lack of digital tools and even those that had the tools were distracted.
But when we are at school, we tend to care more about studying. As a candidate, going to school will boost my performance because there is nothing to distract me.
Also, going to school during the pandemic means that we have been entrusted with the responsibility of fighting this pandemic.
Of course, the coronavirus is still there. But we have been taught how to prevent it by wearing a face mask, washing hands regularly, and keeping our distance from large crowds. If we stick to this, we will defeat it.
Armel Nsanzimana, Saint-Jean Nyarusange
Spending more than six months at home, while studying remotely was not good for most of the students. On my behalf, it was not good.
As we go back to school, we understand that Covid-19 is still in our midst, it is actually the same thing that made us stay home for all these months. We also know what it is capable of.
Even though it is an exciting moment, as students we should aspire to protect ourselves as we also protect our colleagues in order to fight this pandemic.
Bonette Mizero, Padri Vjeko TTC
For me homeschooling was impossible. This is why I am among the happiest. However like we have been told for the past six months, the current situation is not one to play with.
Much as it is exciting, the coronavirus is also around and of course, the message is clear for us the students. But I am confident that if we observe the guidelines, there is nothing to be afraid of.
For TVET students who are always in practical lessons, more vigilance is needed because a fellow student could easily infect the whole school.
Pacifique Niyigena, Ecole Technique du Saint-Kizito, Save
This is nice because it will take us back in the mood of learning. However, going back to school during the pandemic means that every student has a role to play in strengthening the fight against the coronavirus.
Another thing is that we should avoid things like jumping school fences among others. We should also wash our hands, and make sure that we observe all the guidelines.
Kelia Mizero, Groupe Scolaire Officiel de Butare
Most of us thought we may not be able to return to school and others have started dropping out. I am happy and am happy to see my friends again.
As a student, my role is to sensitize my friends about the measures which we were taught and ensure that they are not forgotten.
This way, we are sure that at least we will contribute towards the country’s plan to curb the spread of the coronavirus.