Over 100 academics from higher education institutions from across the East African region on Wednesday visited Kigali Genocide Memorial to pay homage to victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
The dons have been in Kigali since Monday for a meeting on quality assurance in institutions of higher learning in the East African Community member states.
The visit to the memorial featured touring the different parts of the site, laying a wreath as well as watching documentaries about the Genocide.
According to the delegates, scholars should play a critical role in doing research on Genocide history.
Mike Kuria, the Deputy Executive Secretary of Inter University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), said that the visit to the memorial is essential for academics for they interact with a great number of youth at universities which help them to share the experience about the Genocide.
Kuria added that the history of Rwanda is not a lesson for the country alone.
“The issue of hatred and division is a universal phenomenon. Other countries in the region should come and learn from Rwanda so that hatred should be stopped not only in the region but also worldwide.
“It is important for other states to learn from the history of Rwanda. This will help them to think about how we can work together so that such terrible happenings should not happen again.”
Dr Rita Makumbi, the president of East African Quality Assurance Network, said that peace should be inculcated among young souls so they can grow up knowing how to respect humanity.
“It is a privilege to visit the memorial. It is very sad but also good that the history has been preserved to enable people know what happened. We should protect humanity and never go back to similar happenings in any country. The best way to inculcate peace dimensions is just to teach it in class, formally and informally,” Makumbi added.
Emmanuel Muvunyi, the Executive Secretary of Higher Education Council, expects that such a visit by scholars could inspire them to do more research on the Genocide in the country.
“This was not a visit as such but an inspiration to scholars to do research on the particular happening in Rwanda or other genocides across the world. All scholars are lecturers at universities; we expect their experience to be shared with students. Also, this shows them that learners should be taught values besides physics and mathematics, among other subjects,” Muvunyi said.