The Director General of the National Examination and School Inspection Authority (NESA), Bernard Bahati, has dismissed recent allegations of leaked exams and a misaligned curriculum.
Bahati said the reports are misinformation spread by a local TV station and amplified on social media. He affirmed that the exams were set in accordance with proper guidelines, reflecting the material students have learned in school, and that there were no leaks.
Bahati assured the public that NESA has backup papers available in the event of any issues with leaked exams. Contrary to reports, The New Times compared two Mathematics papers for the Advanced Level five and found that the 2022 paper was completely distinct from this year’s paper, thereby dispelling the allegations of reuse.
Moreover, an analysis conducted by NESA addressed concerns regarding a Primary five exam on Science and Elementary Technology, which was alleged to be misaligned with the curriculum. The analysis revealed that all the questions were carefully selected from topics within the curriculum, effectively refuting the claims of misalignment.
Camille Kanamugire, Head of Basic Education and TVET Examination Department at NESA, provided insights into the examination setting process. NESA sets the standards for creating exams, with teachers playing a vital role.
They receive training, engage in discussions, and learn from each other. Kanamugire explained that during the first term, schools set exams as usual, while in the second term, teachers selected by the district were responsible for setting the exams. In the third term, NESA brings together teachers and regulators to set questions, with national-level proofreading to ensure consistency.
This standardized approach ensures fair competition and challenges students in their preparation for national exams. Kanamugire emphasized the importance of the Comprehensive Assessment Management Information System (CA-MIS), which aligns with Rwanda’s competence-based curriculum.
CA-MIS allows teachers to record assessment results, monitor student progress, and address learning gaps. Through the use of CA-MIS, NESA can compare the performance of students from different districts and ensure their readiness for national exams.
The implementation of CA-MIS has provided a comprehensive overview of student performance across the country, replacing the previous system where each school conducted its own exams.
“Through these measures, Rwanda aims to ensure that students receive quality education and are adequately prepared for national exams,” Kanamugire said.