Burundi head teacher jailed for sitting student’s exam


A head teacher in Burundi has been sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to disguise himself as a student and sit a national exam in place of someone else.

Benjamin Manirambona was arrested by policemen in plain clothes on Friday after they were tipped off that he was taking an exam, dressed in school uniform. The head of Butere Technical College in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, said he was taking the exam in place of a soldier who is serving in Somalia as part of Burundi’s AMISOM peacekeeping force.

Head teacher jailed for sitting exam

Manirambona admitted to deception on the spot as he was arrested by policemen at his school. He explained he was taking an electronics exam on behalf of the soldier who wanted the grades to get into university. The head teacher admitted to being offered a payment from the solider upon his return to Burundi, in exchange for sitting the exam in his place.

In Burundi, students taking important national exams sit them at other schools, meaning Manirambona wasn’t recognised by other people in the exam hall.  However, Education Minister Janvière Ndirahisha insists this wasn’t the first time the headmaster has sat an exam in place of a student.

Manirambona was sentenced to five years in prison and banned from teaching or holding any public office for 10 years by a court in Bujumbura. Two accomplices that covering up for the head teacher were also sentenced to two years in prison and banned from holding any public office for five years.

Four students also suspected of cheating were released without charge.

Featured image: By I, SteveRwanda, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2436031

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.