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Rwanda -- Education

The World Bank has estimated that 71% of primary school-age Rwandans attended school in 1992, compared with 68% in 1970. Many primary and secondary schools were looted or physically damaged in the war, and many teachers were killed or forced to flee. Primary education has largely recovered since the crisis, and is benefiting from international assistance, particularly from the EU. In 1996 nearly one million primary school students and 40-45 thousand secondary school students were enrolled. Schooling takes 14 years altogether: eight years of primary school and six years of secondary school. The academic year runs from September to July. Until the new government, instruction had been conducted in Kinyarwanda at lower grades and French at higher grades. To accommodate students with Ugandan origins, the new government has introduced English to supplement French as the language of instruction. Some allowance is also made for the use of Swahili, particularly in exams.

The National University of Rwanda at Butare was established as an autonomous, public institution in 1963 by the government and the Roman Catholic Dominican Order of Canada. It was closed during the conflicts of the last decade but reopened after the war's end.

Source: Taylor, C.C. 1995. Rwandans. In Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life.

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