Statistics show that since 2016, 73 juvenile convicts were pardoned and offered a chance to resume their studies but that only 47 did so while 26 dropped out of school.
Article 109 of the Constitution of Rwanda states that “The President of the Republic has the authority to exercise the prerogative of mercy in accordance with the procedures provided for by law and after consultation with the Supreme Court.”
Some of the youth who were granted pardon explained that they failed to resume studied due to a lack of means and stigmatization from school officials.
Nkundimana Dieudonné, one of the youth who were pardoned said "I met difficulties when I went back to school because I was required to start high school anew when I was supposed to be in my fourth year."
One other youth said that he had obtained good grades in Ordinary level but that he was not able to pursue studies due to poverty.
Kayitesi Alice, Kamonyi district mayor said that apart from assisting the pardoned youth to find jobs, no other incentives were put in place to support them.
"We support the youth in finding jobs and creating businesses through the Business Development Fund (BDF) but so far no incentive is available to support youth who dropped out of school."
Some of the youth who were granted pardon was expected to have graduated high school last year. CP Jean Bosco Kabanda, Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS) Commissioner in charge of correction said that going forward, RCS will collaborate with districts’ administrations to follow up on the education of pardoned youth and seek sponsors for those who are not able to pursue their studies due to financial barriers.