MUSANZE - The Minister of Information, Louise Mushikiwabo, has urged students in the country to use media clubs as platforms for constructive debates on different government policies.
The minister made the remarks last week while meeting students drawn from different secondary schools in the Northern Province, who had gathered at Ecole des sciences de Musanze, in Musanze District.
Media clubs were launched in August last year at Rulindo Secondary School in Northern Province, with the aim of equipping students with basic journalism tools.
“Constructive debates are so useful to students to develop critical thinking and debates are one way of promoting democracy and free expression,” Mushikiwabo told students.
“Media should be the voice of the community. You should be able to say what you think and brainstorm on policies and hold debates freely but in the constructive way,” the minister reiterated.
The represented schools included; Musanze, Janja, Kidaho, Kirambo, Lyce APICUR, ESSA-Ruhengeri and Rulindo among others.
One student Gentil Kalisa, said that the clubs help them to keep up to date on current affairs.
Ecole des sciences de Musanze, has 60 students in the Media Club and ministry officials say their target is to have 360 clubs countrywide by 2012.
At the same occasion, the minister pledged two giant TV sets and Rwf452,000 to strengthen the school’s vision and the Media club.
Nicolas Muhire, the patron of TTC Kirambo Media Club, observed that the media clubs in high schools serve as the voice of other sister clubs like anti-corruption, anti-AIDS and anti-Genocide clubs.
He added that the clubs encourage dialogue. “They act as a bridge … since the students are exposed to information, they develop critical minds to avoid consuming any information they receive,” he said.