Our students come from a variety of backgrounds including: residents of the neighboring Children’s village (see History section); students from rural areas, including the surrounding hills; and students from more prosperous families in Kigali. All are certified graduates of secondary junior secondary schools.
Government high schools can at present accommodate only 10% of the students wanting to complete their secondary education, so private schools play an important role in Rwanda. Students generally select to attend ETSK because of its high education standards, its focus on discipline and personal development, and because of the peaceful and safe rural environment. We are confident that our major new initiatives to improve English and Computer competency, with a new emphasis on self-learning, will attract an ever more qualified student body.
A majority of our students’ families live in extreme poverty and cannot afford our $500 annual cost of tuition, room and board and require some sort of underwriting from the government or private donations. (The Committee for Education Expansion has funded 28 full scholarships for the 2017 school year).
Our students are a product of the post-genocide generation (after 1994), and were born into the hardship of that catastrophic event that killed up to 1,000,000 Rwandans, including a majority of qualified teachers. They are also adjusting to the major switch from French to English teaching legislated by the government in 2010. For many, English is their third language and most have lost a few years of education along the way because of hardships, so that the age range is from 17-22.
Despite these challenges, many of our students go on to University with full scholarships, with our first graduates now completing their degrees in subjects ranging from: Civil Engineering; Surveying; Construction; Computer Engineering; Programming; Computer Science; BIT (Business Information Technology); and Computer Engineering and Telecommunication. Universities attended include the University of Rwanda /College of Science and Technology, as well as IPRCs (Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centers).
Other graduates are now in the workplace, pursuing careers in their fields of study. OUR GOAL is that 100% of our students are gainfully employed or in University within 6 months of graduation (in a country with up to 50% unemployment). In 2017, we are instituting a program to survey and measure the actual 6 month outcomes of our students.
As in emerging countries, women’s education has a tremendous impact on family health and children education. The school is actively promoting the attendance of girls and it is planning further measures to improve gender equity and equality.
A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF ETSK STUDENTS
5: 15—5: 50 WAKE UP AND MAKE BED
5: 50—6: 20 SANITATION ACTIVITIES
6: 20—7: 25 MORNING STUDY IN INDIVIDUAL CLASSROOMS
7: 25—7: 55 BREAKFAST IN DINING HALL
10: 30—10: 45 BREAK
10: 50—12:30 CLASSES
12:30—14:00 LUNCH IN DINING HALL (MUST CLEAN OWN DISH)
4:30-5:30 SPORTS AND CLUB ACTIVITIES
5:30-6:00 PERSONAL HYGIENE (WITH BUCKETS OF COLD WATER)
6:00-7:15 TEACHER MONITORED STUDY IN INDIVIDUAL CLASSROOMS
7:15-8:00 SUPPER IN DINING HALL
8:00-9:30 TEACHER MONITORED EVENING INDIVIDUAL STUDY
9:30 LIGHTS OUT
-SANITATION ACTIVITIES INCLUDE GENERAL CLEANING OF DORMS AND TOILETS;
-STUDENTS WASH THEIR OWN DISH AFTER EACH MEAL;
-STUDENTS DO THEIR OWN LAUNDRY ON SATURDAYS WITH BUCKETS OF COLD WATER AND HANG TO DRY;
-STUDENTS PROVIDE OWN UNIFORMS, CLOTHING, BEDDING AND MATTRESS
-ENGLISH MOVIES ARE SHOWN EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY EVENING FROM 8:00-10:00PM IN DINING HALL;
-ENGLISH CHANNEL VIEWING AVAILABLE AT DINNER;
-OPTIONAL MASS ON SUNDAY MORNING
-STUDENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE CAMPUS;
-ORGANIZED SPORTS ON WEEK-ENDS
-NO CELL PHONES ALLOWED ON CAMPUS