One of the resolutions of the 17th edition of the Annual National Umushyikirano Council was about discontinuing automatic promotion policy in Rwandan schools.
As of recent, while implementing the resolution, the Ministry of Education came up with a strict called-off policy requiring that candidates get promoted to the next level only on merit.
The calling off of automatic promotion came with a decision that a number of 60,000 candidates comprising 44,176 for PLE and 16,466 for O'Level who did not get the pass mark will have to repeat classes. This automatically means that private schools will not be allowed to admit students who failed the national examinations.
The failed students will also have to repeat classes and undergo remedial courses.
Since then after the renouncement of the automatic promotion policy, the move has attracted the attention of so many people prompting debate among the public, education sector stakeholders including parents and students, the press among others.
Profelious Mujuni, a teacher at Ecole Primaire St. Joseph Kicukiro pointed out that “automatic promotion policy has done more harm than good and therefore has to come to an end.”
He believes the system has caused a comfort zone for students. "Students were no longer competitive because they knew that no matter what they will get promoted even without being aware of what will come after," he said.
He, however, believes that the new system will push both students and teachers to get out of their comfort zone and work hard as only performance will determine their promotion.
Simon Pierre Ufiteyesu commented: “I’m now very happy because of the decision, learners are going to study without jokes, they know that they will be promoted in accordance with their best performance.”
He added that teachers are going to work hard more than before though that they will need special support to motivate them in their daily life.