Akimitoni was initially a primary school and became Groupe Scolaire Akimitoni in 2011 as the Government of Rwanda introduced Nine Year Basic Education program.
It is now ten years since the program was introduced but students have never used computers at the school.
Students told IGIHE, they only cover theoretical part of ICT skills course, or sometimes walk over 5 kilometers to use computers from another school.
Niringiyimana Désiré, a student at G.S Akimitoni says, he has touched a computer five times only since he went to the school.
“It is unfortunate that I have used computer five times only since I joined the school three years ago. We don’t have computer skills because we only cover theoretical part without practical session. To this end, we cannot properly attend to homework requiring us to check online sources,” he said.
Dukuzumuremyi Elisa, 17, says he is not able to identify different parts of a computer’s hardware.
Another student, Iradukunda Esta has said that the lack of computers at the school pushed her to change course options in advanced level.
“We only study ICT theories that we don’t apply. I had planned to study Computer Science in advanced level but poor education especially in ICT has prompted me to change options because I cannot compete with others yet I am starting from scratch,” he said.
Mukawera José has also revealed that he used a computer four times within three years noting that some of his colleagues didn’t get a single chance to use computers.
Hitimana Jean Baptiste, a teacher of ICT at G.S Akimitoni says he struggles to teach the course without computer.
“I sometimes take students to G.S Kabatwa to access computers. It takes time to reach the school and return which delays or cancels attendance to other courses on timetable. In some cases, prefer to go there over the weekend but not all students are available as a matter of beliefs,” he said.
“I am supposed to teach Excel component but there are no equipment. I am currently using the laptop of the head teacher but my timetable ends after showing two or three students. I seem to be doing nothing because showing how Microsoft Excel to 3 out of 45 students is shameful,” added Hitimana.
They have appealed for Government support to get computers.
The head teacher of G.S Akimitoni, Sebatware Gabriel has explained that concerned officials were informed of the problem.
“It is known that the school has no computers because we didn’t have enough rooms,” he said.
Sebatware said the school was supposed to receive computers in 2019 but lacked space for computer lab.
He expressed optimism that the issue will be addressed soon because rooms have been completed.
The mayor of Nyabihu district, Mukandayisenga Antoinette has told IGIHE that she is aware of the problem highlighting that the school will receive computers after making preparations.
“It is a worrying situation that children don’t have computers. The problem had persisted because the school didn’t have rooms reserved for computer lab but these rooms have been constructed. They will receive computers soon as they finish setting up all required equipment including desks and tables,” she explained.