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He wants to go to university: The dreams of Uwihaye who graduated from high school at the age of 61

Experts say that the worst thing in life is to be discouraged because if a person continues to struggle, he will eventually reach his goal.

Everywhere in Rwanda, there are still older students, so that if you compare their age with that of other classmates, they are their grandchildren or their children.

This is due to the new education policy that Rwanda is implementing. This policy gives everyone the opportunity to learn without discrimination.

The benefits of this policy reached Uwihaye Emmanuel, from Bibare village, Bihunde cell, Twumba sector, Karongi district who started primary school in 1975 and finished secondary school in 2022.

He graduated from high school in the department of languages ​​and literature.

In 1975, when he was 13 years old, he started primary school and reached the eighth grade. The poverty of his family prevented him from continuing to finish high school.

In 2008, Uwihaye, who was 47 years old, returned to school and began his first year of high school at ES Gakuta. He combined his school responsibilities with raising five children with his wife. The children are also in the classroom.

After completing the General Class, the responsibility of taking care of his family became an obstacle for him and he dropped out of school again. After 11 years, he returned to study and returned to the place where he had stayed.

He said, “In 2019, I went to enroll in GS Manje. The children who accepted me were happy to imitate me, but some did not understand it. I am graduating from high school and now I have a degree because in our school we all succeeded”

The self-proclaimed child, who plays with children the size of his grandchildren, says he finds a way to keep learning.

He said, “What made me go back to school after I finished the General Course was that I saw what I learned in that course and applied it to my agricultural work and saw that it gave me good results. My goal is to use the ideas I learned from school for the benefit of the wider community”.

On February 24, 2023, when the 10th grade of Intomebigwi elite camp was concluded throughout the country, Uwihaye was one of the outstanding ones who was presented with an award by the Executive Secretary of the Western Province, Uwambajamariya Florence.

Iyamuremye Froduard, a 20-year-old student of Uwihaye, told IGIHE that when the principal of GS Manje school told them that an old man was coming to study with them, he felt it was impossible.

He said, “I was surprised, but after 30 minutes we saw him enter, the local people started discouraging him and asked him what he was doing, and told him to leave and go shopping for the family. He didn’t get discouraged, he didn’t care what people said and he continued to study and now we finished without any problems.”

Mamremye says that at the beginning of the fourth year, the students were always complaining, wondering how they were going to study with an elder than their father, but as the days went by, they accepted it and saw him as a good friend.

25-year-old Vumilia Denise says that studying with this old man was a great opportunity because he was better at the French language.

He said, “It was a great experience because we saw that there were more things than us. He used to give us advice in class, he mastered the French language and explained it to us. We saw him as a blessing in school, we studied together and graduated”.

A typical student who has not yet taken part in the school journey starts primary school at the age of six and completes it at the age of 17.


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