Some of the students born in different parts of Gicumbi District, Northern Province, insist Kinyarwanda dialect, known as Igikiga which is spoken in some parts of the Northern Region, affects them during National Examinations where they struggle to pass Kinyarwanda exam due to the use of Igikiga in their everyday lives, especially in the region’s general community.
They say they fail to pass the Kinyarwanda subject during the National examinations at all levels, either Primary Leaving, Ordinary or Advanced level, compared to other courses because they are forced to speak dialect language because the community members speak it rather any time.
According to Emmanuel Benimana, one of the students studying in Gicumbi District, says, in some schools near the areas bordering Uganda, a big number of students use Igikiga. They say they speak it easier than Kinyarwanda.
He said, “When we are in school we are taught Kinyarwanda, which we have a hard time knowing because we are used to Urukiga, so we are failing Kinyarwanda as a lesson.”
The difficulties encountered by schoolchildren are confirmed by the teachers who say that some efforts are needed to help and prepare them well in Kinyarwanda lesson. If not, they could keep failing in Kinyarwanda lesson.
Angélique Uwamariya, is one of the teachers in Gicumbi. She says, “The consequences are unstoppable because when we ask them to write Kinyarwanda, they write Igikiga, they fail Kinyarwanda not because they did not study it well but because they write the Dialect one”
Jean Damascene Nsengimana, the Director of Education in Gicumbi District said that the problem is mainly at primary school level. “The problem lies in the first to third grade of primary school, where the student uses the Igikiga Language because it is highly used at home,” he said.
The Government of Rwanda, in its policy, has a program to promote Kinyarwanda as a lesson taught in all the schools of the country.
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