History and Background Of College Saint Andre

St Andre College, a Catholic founded secondary school under the Kigali Arch diocese recently celebrated fiftieth anniversary. The school, located in Kigali City’s Nyarugenge district, was founded by Catholic missionaries 1957 at Rwamagana, through the coordination of Bishop Andrew Perraudin. The founding of the school was the initiative of Bishops A. Charrue and Chanoine Jacques, and missionary priests Cuvelier, Reginald Griend and Jacque Noel from Namur, Belgium. Initially the school taught literature, including Greek and Latin texts. It later introduced science based subjects, including biochemistry, mathematics, physics and social sciences. Science based subjects played a major role towards raising the school’s fame, According to the head teacher Rev Fr Abbé André Kibanguka. St Andrew College was the first school to introduce science subjects in Rwanda, despite the fact that the school emphasized the teaching of literature. Although the school is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary of existence, it hasn’t always been in the same location. The school was shifted to St Famille in Kigali in 1958, only to be relocated in 1962 to its present location in Nyamirambo, with its final settlement completed in 1964. The school had to be transferred to the heart of Kigali, under the directive of Bishop Perroduin, who wanted it to cater for more students in the country whose parents would find having their children studying in the township more convenient, explains Kibanguka. This was an academic success as the school continued admitting students from different parts of the country, resulting in having the best performers in the country. In 1979 the government started sending children to the school without considering the required marks, which affected the school’s historic record of producing the cream of academia. This lasted until 1994 when the college went back to admitting student with the required academic standards that has it back on the map of education success. Today, St Andrew College a mixed secondary school, has a population of 830 students, 33 per cent of whom are girls. It is built on an area of 12 hectares, operating in rather old school structures which were partly destroyed during 1994 war and subsequent Genocide. The school is 90 per cent financed by parents, except the academic staff’s wages which are provided for by the government. The head teacher said that the school was constructed to accommodate three hundred and sixty students but the current number has exerted pressure on the limited facilities that were never considered in its expansion. Some of the facilities affected by the overwhelming numbers include latrines, shortage of cooking utensils and dormitories. Among the eight hundred students who study at St Andrew College, Two hundred and fifty are residents at the school while the remaining six hundred and eighty are day scholars. The day scholars have their lunch at school thus making it more difficult due to the shortage of cooking utensils, as earlier on mentioned. As a way of giving back to the public, the school employs some residents as casual labourers and after the 1963 war school facilitated the construction of houses for widows on top of residents using the school chapel for prayers. For the last fifty years of its existence, the school has seen about 2,794 former students successfully making into public arena. The headmaster however attributes the little number of students that successfully complete their academic careers, to general lack of seriousness in regard to academic performance as the seemingly weaker students would subsequently be discontinued, leaving the few with the required standard performance. Some of the important Rwandan public personalities that passed through the college the head master cited include the ombudsman Tito Rutaremara, among others.