Monday, 10 August 2009

Bus chaos in Kigali

This is an extract from today's "New Times" paper about the chaos at Kigali as thousands of secondary school students allk try to get to their schools for the start of term. In my blog for yesterday (see below) I write about how lucky I was to be put on a bus straight away; this article shows you what happens to those children who can't afford high fares....

Also very revealing is the official acknowledgement at the end of this article that the Government realises it is critically short of classrooms. Just imagine the situation in England if it were to be reported that we need 3000+ new classrooms to be built within tht next four months!

KIGALI - By late yesterday evening hundreds of upcountry school students were left stranded at Nyabugogo main taxi park, citing scarcity of vehicles to ferry them to their respective schools across the country.

The New Times also observed scores of stranded students at different bus terminals in Kigali City carrying their luggage, with a high possibility of not making it in time for school opening today.

Interviewed students expressed disappointment at the way transport fares to upcountry destinations have been hiked by the operators. “It is a common practice to run short of vehicles when the term opens but this time the problem has been made worse by the high fares,” said Edison Mugabo who was heading for Nyagatare in the Eastern Province. He added that the high fares would cripple his usual little pocket money his parents give him. “I think this is too much, we used to travel for Rwf1800 only, but when I reached the transport agency they told me I had to pay Rwf2500.” A concern shared by many of the other stranded students.

Others were even worried that they wouldn’t make it to school on time.
“I have been here since early morning but haven’t got a taxi to take me to school.
I think government should help us get a permanent solution to this problem that is always recurrent each time schools open,” lamented Jeanne Uwamahoro, another student.

As schools open for the third term, the Ministry of Education has also revealed a big crisis in the implementation of the recently established nine-year Basic Education programme. The State Minister in Charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Mathias Harebamungu, informed Cabinet on Friday that the programme was short of 3,172 classrooms. The school term begins at a time when the Ministry of Education has just undergone a major shake up where both the minister and state minister of state have been changed to give the ministry new blood.

No comments: