As students countrywide get ready for the 2013 academic year, to start on January 7th, students in Nyagatare district are skeptical about the sources of school fees due to the foot and mouth disease which has caused the barn on cattle sales in the area.
The students say that they main source of income for school fees depend on the sales from the cattle, and have asked the government to negotiate with school heads to be patient with those who cannot afford to raise the fees, since the area has been quarantined.
The ministry of education has released new guidelines that will ensure safety and easy transportation of pupils and students who will start their new school year on January 7th and 8th 2013 in respective provinces.
The students will depart for school in two batches. Nyagatare district will be in the second batch of students will depart on January 7, heading to the Northern Province, Eastern Province and the remaining districts in the Western Province, and start school on January 8, according to the directives.
Though most schools and dealers in scholastic material are prepared to receive the students and sale big respectively in next week, parents in the area say that the main source of income has depended on sales of animals and animal products.
“The markets where we have been selling the animals are closed and we don’t know what to do next. This is going to be a difficult time and it will certainly affect the students, since they are required to pay school fees on time” said Caritas Kayitesi, one of the parents.
The business community also says that sales are have been low during this period and the beginning of the year is commonly marked with low expenditures due to the long festive season in which many families spend a lot on celebrations.
One of the head teachers, Kabare Richard, the headmaster of Nsheke Secoundary School said that this problem affects the whole community at large, but called on parents to seek other means of income so as to ensure a smooth commencement of the school year.
“What is important is the education of the children. The schools are ready to receive students, and their parents should work around the clock to ensure that students attend school” he said.
Nyagatare district is located in the eastern province of Rwanda. the community largely depends on livestock farming and has the largest numbers of milk production in the country.