KARONGI - Imbuto Foundation, under the patronage of the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, yesterday, presented prizes to the best female students in the Western Province for their outstanding academic achievements.
Those who excelled in ‘O’ level and primary leaving examinations received an assortment of scholastic materials which included school bags, books, calculators, mathematical sets, pens and watches, while the four who excelled at ‘A’ level, were given laptops and will receive free computer training sessions.
Mrs Kagame presented each of the students with a certificate of excellence.
At the colourful ceremony that attracted scores of Karongi residents, Mrs Kagame reminded parents to work hard and ensure that their children go to school and encouraged girls in particular to take education seriously.
“This annual event is aimed at showcasing the importance of educating girls as a way of empowering them to lead future successful lives,” Mrs Kagame said.
And to the girls, the First Lady said; “endeavour to put extra efforts in your own education; we do this to encourage you.”
Mrs Kagame challenged the students to identify their weaknesses and strengths and improve their knowledge by embracing the culture of reading.
“Do not get distracted by negative influences or engage in actions that might destroy your lives. Desist from any form of temptations and collectively work to change each other for the better,” the First Lady counselled.
Mrs. Kagame, also urged the public to do everything within their reach to end gender-based violence, especially against women and young children.
The State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Mathias Harebamungu, said that his Ministry had devised more means of encouraging girls’ education, including offering bursaries to female science students.
“I thank the female students who performed well in last year’s examinations. The gifts you have been given do not mean that you have reached your destiny…rather, you are required to work harder to brighten your future,” he said.
Josiane Ishimwe, 19, one of the students who excelled in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics at A’level shared her excitement.
“I could not believe that I would be the best and I very much appreciate the initiative by the First Lady because it gives more assurance that girls can also make it,” she said.
Ishimwe said she was now optimistic about her ambition of studying electrical engineering at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.
The First Lady, also rewarded 11 guardian angels (Malayika Murinzi) from 5 different districts in the Western Province. Nine women and 2 men received cows and a certificate for protecting and caring for children in their communities, who are not necessarily their own.
Mrs Kagame, encouraged the guardian angels to establish networks and through them, continue to sensitize other parents. She urged them to keep track of the children in their communities and homes, making sure their rights are not abused.