Parent – Student Handbook

  1. Introduction

The Burundi English School (BES) Parent-Student handbook is the guiding document that contains useful information for parents and students.

It is a practical and upgradeable tool which centralises main information on the school life and how it functions.

The reader will find in this handbook useful information on the history of the school, the school expectations from parents and students, admission and registration, school calendar, school conducts etc.

In producing this handbook, Burundi English School also wishes to facilitate parents’ and students’ understanding on how they can work hand in hand with the school management and staff in order to achieve excellence in education.

As we believe that parents and students are our key partners in enhancing the quality of education we provide, we also invite them to submit suggestions and critics that can contribute to the improvement of future editions and the quality of information provided in this handbook.

For any inquiry, please send us an email at or call the school office during working days at +257 77 35 15 61

  1. About Burundi English School

The Burundi English School (BES) is a non–profit private English school, which currently offers opportunities for students to learn from Kindergarten to Grade Nine. All subjects are taught in English and our expectation is that all students will have a sound grasp of the English Language by the time they complete Grade 12. French instruction begins in Grade One.  We add one grade each year and by 2019, BES will enrol from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

BES motto being “Excellence in Education”, our aim is to maximize teaching and learning experiences for our students and prepare them to enter University with Excellent standards. We will also strive to promote Excellence in the social, physical, and emotional growth of our students.  An important factor, which enhances students’ learning, is the amount of time that a student gets to work directly with a teacher.  We are proud to say that our small class sizes give our students many opportunities to work directly with our excellent teaching staff. 

Children learn in an active and enriched environment by using well-developed materials and learning aids. BES uses a Western Canadian Curriculum called the Western Canadian Protocol.  This curriculum is internationally recognized, as schools in Western Canada have scored in the top ten percent of the more than 55 countries being tested.  Each year, at least two Canadian volunteer educators help with the implementation of this Western Canadian Curriculum.  All our teachers are English speaking Burundians, who have a sound grasp of the English language and the Western Canadian Protocol, and are all very good educators.

The founders of our school, Jean Marie Vianney BIZIMANA and Gédéon MBARIRIMBANYI, had a vision for Burundi English School, where there would not be any social, economic, tribal or cultural barriers for any student and where students from diverse backgrounds, who did not have the economic means, could attend the Burundi English School.

Therefore, BES offers bursaries to a certain number of students whose parents are not able to cover the costs of the English Teaching System. The BES Board of Directors, the Tanbur African Aid Society of Canada, and donators from Canada and the Unites States support school bursaries. These bursaries allow us to build our future based on our Founders’ direction. We believe that by providing stronger education, based on solid precepts, we will contribute to the growth and development of Burundi.

Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela


  1. BES expectations
  2. Expectations from parents

When you register your child at BES, you are expected to support the education of your child.

  • We are an English speaking school; therefore it is crucial that you encourage your child to use the English language at home as much as possible as it is done at school.
  • Read English books as much as possible. If you cannot read English have your child read to you.
  • Establish a time and place for your child’s homework. Set up a routine that is the same every weeknight.
  • Help your child doing the homework. Please do not do it for them, but make sure it is done.
  • Watch English speaking T.V. Channels as much as possible with your children.
  • Check every day your child class diary
  • Listen to your child home reading and sign home reading sheet.
  • Parents are required to pick up their children on time.


  1. Expectations from students

Students are expected to:

  • Show consideration, courtesy and respect to others and their property.
  • Walk quietly and safely to and from all activities.
  • Use appropriate language and gestures with others.
  • Keep our personal space, classroom and school areas clean.
  • Be on time.
  • Treat all school property with care and respect.
  • Be in the right place at the right moment.


  • Admission and registration at BES
  1. Registration fees


To guarantee your child’s registration, an amount of BIF 50,000 per child will be paid and an approval cash receipt is provided by the school Administrative Assistant.

The registration fees are applied for new students. The payment of the registration fees will confirm a place for the child/children as the number of seats in classes is limited.

The registration deadline for the 2016/17 is 15 August 2016.

  1. Student registration file

A number of documents referred to as student registration file to register is required.

The student registration file contains:

  • A notarized copy of the child birth certificate;
  • Two valid passport photographs;
  • An original report card from the child’s previous school (for those coming from other schools)
  • An attendance certificate from the previous school
  • A well filled student registration form provided by BES
  • A student pick-up form provided by the school and filled by parents
  • An authorisation letter from the Ministry of Education for all students coming to register from secondary French public and private schools
  1. Level test

In its pursuit of ensuring excellence in education, BES continues to innovate ways that can help students start learning in an English environment without any problem. Starting the 2016/17 school year, all new students from both English and French systems will pass a level test from grade 2 up to the highest grades.

The level test will allow our teachers to see where to support the child/children in order to have required knowledge to pursue the Western Canadian Curricula offered by BES. The results of the level test will be communicated to concerned parents and students. The accompanying measures such as extra classes necessary to help the students in need to reach the required level for the grade they are placed in. A reasonable cost for those extra classes will be charged and communicated to concerned parents.

  1. Intensive English Classes

At BES, we are ready to help your child/children from French Schools getting ready to embrace the English Teaching system without difficulties.

In order to make students from French schools get ready to follow English Teaching Programme, we have planned a one month Intensive English Classes (IEC) that all students from French System schools must follow before the formal teaching-learning begins for the new school year.

The amount of BIF 200,000 for the IEC will be paid in advance.

  1. School Fees

As a non-profit school, we are committed to keeping costs reasonable for parents, who in turn are expected to pay school fees on time.

  1. School fees per section
Section Fee per term and student Total per student and per year
Kindergarten 1-3 BIF 400,000 BIF 1,200,000
Grade 1 to Grade 6 BIF 500,000 BIF 1,500,000
Grade 7 to Grade 9 BIF 600, 000 BIF 1,800,000


  1. School Fees Payment Schedule
Terms Date
First term 15 August to 15 September 2016
Second term 15 December 2016- 15 January 2017
Third term 15 April-15 May 2017

NOTE: After these dates, a penalty of 10% will be applied. The non-payment of one month could result in the withdrawal of your child.

If a student leaves part way through a term, the fees for that term will not be refunded.  If the school fees have been paid for a whole school year, in advance, fees for the unstudied terms will be refunded.

  1. School kit fees

The school decided to set the kits to harmonise teaching materials. The table below details the applying kits fees per section.

Level Amount per child
Kindergarten BIF 90,000
Grade 1 to 6 BIF 130,000
Grade 7 to 9 BIF 150,000

Note: The period of the school kits payment is from 15 August-1 September 2016

  1. Our Classes
  1. Class size guideline
Level Maximum number of students in a classroom
Kindergarten1 to 3 18 students
Grades 1 to 9 20 students


  1. Class Composition
Class Age Birth year
Kindergarten (K1-K2) 3 and 4 years old Children born in 2013 and 2012
Kindergarten (K3) 5 years olds Children born in 2011
Grade 1 6 years old Children born in 2010
Grade 2 7 years old Children born in 2009
Grade 3 8 years old Children born in 2008
Grade 4 9 years old Children born in 2007
Grade 5 10 years old Children born in 2006
Grade 7 11 years old Children born in 2005
Grade 8 12 years old Children born in 2004
Grade 8 13 years old Children born in 2003
Grade 9 14 years old Children born in 2002


Note: Age levels may vary as children proceed through the higher grades (e.g From Grade 4 to Grade 9).


  1. Communication with Parents
  1. Parent notices

Notices to Parent will be sent home, via students, as needed. We will try to provide a French translation of all notices for parents’ convenience. Moreover, the school has joined the web; so parents will be receiving newsletters and other communications via email.  It is therefore, recommended that all parents shall have an email address and provide it to the school. In case of any inquiry, we encourage parents to contact


  1. Reporting Process

Burundi English School reporting process is a combination of progress report cards and the following conference:

  1. Meet the Teacher Evening–Wednesday, 7 October 2016

The evening will begin in the school building veranda where the staff will be introduced to the parents’ community and then the curriculum and class expectations are presented in the classrooms.


  1. Report Cards and Conferences:

Friday               23 December, 2016

Wednesday      12 April, 2017

Friday                30 June, 2017

Please note there are no formal classes during these three days. Remember you must set up an appointment time for your interview with your child’s teacher.

Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions or concerns.  Don’t wait for formal Parent/Teacher conferences.


VI.       Extra Work for Students

  1. Homework

Homework is an integral part of every student’s educational program. Homework is set by teachers and should be supported by parents.  It is an extension of classroom assignments and should vary according to the individual student’s grade level, abilities and needs.  The primary function of homework is to assist and improve in the student’s learning.

Homework assignments begin from kindergarten.  A place and time should be set, in each home, for Homework activities. Insist that your child communicate completely in English during these activities.

  1. Library Books

Reading to and having your child read to you in English is an important part of your child’s language development.  We have a full range of books in our library for all ages and we encourage you and your child to use our facilities.

  • Medication

BES staff offers medication services to children at school in case of minor illnesses such headaches and minor injuries. For other complicated illnesses, the school office will call the student’s parents to take the child to the hospital. However, the administration of any medicine will be subject to a written permission from the student’s parents.

  • 2016-2017 School Year Calendar
  1. School events
Dates Events
Monday, September 5, 2016 First day of school
Wednesday, October 07, 2016 Meet the Teacher Evening
Thursday, October 13,2016 National Holiday
Friday, October 21, 2016 National Holiday
Tuesday 1 November, 2016 All Saints Day
Monday 21- Tuesday 22 November, 2016 First Term Directorate Test
Monday 13-  Friday 16 December 2016 First term exams
19 December 2016 Report cards day (Day off for students)
Saturday 17 December, 2016 Visit of Father Christmas to K1-3 students
Friday 23 December , 2016 Christmas party
Friday 23 December , 2016 to 1 January, 2017: Christmas holidays
January 9, 2017 First day of the second term
February5,  2017 Unity Day
Monday 21 – Tuesday 22 March 2017 Second term Directorate Test
3-10 April 2016 Second term exams
Wednesday 12 April, 2017 Parent and Teacher Interviews.
Wednesday 12 April- Sunday 23 April, 2017 Easter Holidays
Monday 24April , 2017 Back to School after Easter Holidays
Monday 1 May , 2017: Labour Day
Monday-Tuesday, 29-30 May 2017 Third term Directorate Test
19-27 June 2017 Third term exams
Friday, 30 June , 2017 Parents-teachers interviews + Last day of school


  1. Number of school days in 2016 – 2017
Term Starting and closing dates Number of days
First Term: 5 September -23 December, 2016 77  days
Second Term 9 January – 12 April, 2017 68 days
Third Term 24 April– 30 June, 2016 49 days
Total number of Days 194 days
  1. School hours
7:15 School doors open
7:30 Grade 1 to 9 Morning Assembly
7:45 Grade 1 to 9 classes begin
8:00-8:15 Pre-K/Kindergarten Classes Morning Assembly
8:15 Pre-K/Kindergarten classes begins
10:00-10:20 Recess
12:00 Pre-K/Kindergarten Classes dismissal
1:00 p.m. Grade 1 to 9 Classes are dismissed.


  1. School Conduct Policy
  1. Student Rights and Responsibilities:

As a BES student I have rights and responsibilities. As long as I am fulfilling my responsibilities, I am entitled to the full privileges that the school offers.

  • I have the right and the responsibility to learn.
  • I have the right to dignity and respect and the responsibility to provide dignity and respect.
  • I have the right to be safe and secure in this school and the responsibility not to interfere with the safety and security of others.
  • I have the right to learn in a calm, peaceful and quiet environment and the responsibility to maintain that calm and peaceful environment.
  • I have the right to express myself openly and freely and the responsibility to allow others to do the same.
  • I have the right to privacy and my own personal space and the responsibility to respect others property and privacy.
  • I have the right to get help and assistance from others and the responsibility to ask for it.


This Parent-Student Handbook does not give an exhaustive list of all information about BES. However, it has captured the essential of the information that parents and students may need at the first hand.As BES continues to innovate towards achieving the excellence in education, it is important to note that there will always be many positives changes. Parents and students are then encouraged to visit the school office so as to inquire if there is no new useful information about the school which is not contained in this handbook.

We also invite the reader to submit suggestions and critics that can contribute to the improvement of future editions and the quality of information provided in this handbook.

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