Rwandan students protest three-year wait for certificates

Sunday April 1 2018

Lycee de Kigali

Lycee de Kigali school in Kigali, Rwanda. Currently, it takes more than three years for REB to provide certificates of completion for former senior six candidates. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA 

By RODRIGUES RWIRAHIRA
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Secondary students who completed their studies are voicing concern about delays by the Rwanda Education Board (REB) in issuing certificates of completion. The delays can result in students missing out on opportunities like applying for scholarships.

Currently, it takes more than three years for REB to deliver final certificates of completion for former senior six candidates as the documents have to be printed either in Germany or Sweden.

However, the government is working on reducing the amount of time it takes to have the printed credentials delivered to the country. REB has also been giving students stamped document showing that they have successfully completed secondary school.

Some students say the delays have affected their applications to foreign universities as these institutions require original documents.

“I applied for a scholarship in Europe and was selected for it after a successful interview. However, I lost out because I could not provide original certificates,” said Angela Urujeni, a student who completed her secondary studies in 2015.

Irénée Ndayambaje, director of the Rwanda Education Board said there was an urgent need to fast-track delivery of the certificates and at least reduce the process of issuance to one year.

“At the moment, any student seeking to study abroad gets a document that is replaced by the original certificate. Our system keeps records of student registration numbers and we provide validated student identities,” said Dr Ndayambaje adding that,

“We currently have no choice but to print the certificates outside the country and this takes time. We do this to avoid forgeries,” added Dr Ndayambaje.

He said the country should facilitate these printing companies to invest in Rwanda.