Youth to be trained in patriotism
The government has introduced patriotism training to encourage voluntarism and national service among the youth, the chairperson of the Itorero National Taskforce, Boniface Rucagu, has said.
Rucagu said all students leaving secondary school will be encouraged to take part in community service once the scheme is launched.
“National service means voluntary service for youth which was formerly known as Urugerero, it extends to the pre-colonial period, where Rwandans were being trained, sacrificed their time and worked for their community,” Rucagu said, adding that the scheme will operate along side the current civic education training (Itorero).
“The government aims at offering patriotism lessons to all the youth, including those who do not get chance to join public or private universities. They will be encouraged to sacrifice and dedicate part of their time to serve the community,” Rucagu said.
“The children will not be camping as in itorero. They will have been mobilized to work within their communities from morning and then go back to their domestic activities in the afternoon,” he explained.
He assured that this will be more effective after the students and other people understand it.
“The students will carry out national services within their localities,”
Students who talked to The New Times expressed varied views about the scheme.
While some expressed fear that it would consume their time, others were concerned about the duration.
Jacques Manirahari, a student at Ecole des Techniques Appliquées de Kimisange said, “If this programme takes seven months or more, then there will be abundant supply of free labour since schools roll out students each year. My fear is that it can affect us as some of us have family responsibilities.”
“But we really welcome the idea as along as it is well organized before the implementation,”
Another student who preferred anonymity said, “My fear is that it could take months or even a year since we normally have long holidays at the end of each academic year,”
Rucagu said they have not yet decided how long the training will take but it will be decided basing on popular public opinion.
Since 2009, secondary school leavers undergo civic and political education training locally known as Itorero.