MPs grill education ministers

PARLIAMENT - Education minister, Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya and the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Joseph Murekeraho, were last evening grilled by Members of the Chamber of Deputies over failure to contain genocide ideology cases in schools.  The discharged MPs blamed the two ministers for lack of practical and stringent measures in place to address the problem which is existent in both primary and secondary schools.
Mujawamariya in the Chamber of Deputies yesterday on the first day of her and Murekeraho’s appearance before the House in connection with alarming genocide ideology cases unearthed by a recent parliamentary inquiry. (Photo/G. Barya)
Mujawamariya in the Chamber of Deputies yesterday on the first day of her and Murekeraho’s appearance before the House in connection with alarming genocide ideology cases unearthed by a recent parliamentary inquiry. (Photo/G. Barya)

PARLIAMENT - Education minister, Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya and the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Joseph Murekeraho, were last evening grilled by Members of the Chamber of Deputies over failure to contain genocide ideology cases in schools.  The discharged MPs blamed the two ministers for lack of practical and stringent measures in place to address the problem which is existent in both primary and secondary schools.

“It is a shame to see that the Ministry of Education is reluctant to take tough action,” MP Judith Kanakuze, said.

The two ministers appeared before the Lower House following a parliamentary probe committee report which revealed in detail damning findings of genocide ideology cases in several secondary schools around the country. In some schools, genocide ideology cases rated as high as 97 percent. 

MPs questioned Mujawamariya about what she was doing to curb the habit of circulating threatening anonymous letters (tracts) targeted to Genocide survivor students. Such documents were found to have been circulated in such schools as ACEDI de Mataba and Ecole Secondaire de Gaseke, found in Gakenke and Gicumbi districts, respectively.

Once such anonymous letters which was found in ACEDI de Mataba read: “‘Abatutsi ni inzoka, baraturambiye kandi tuzabica’, loosely translated to mean ‘Tutsis are snakes, we are fed up with them and we will kill them.’

The blistering session also raised concern over cases where some survivor students were forced to wear differently. The inquiry indicated that ACEDI de Mataba administrators had introduced school uniforms for survivor students different from others’.

Mujawamariya however explained that the Education ministry is aware of the problem and that it was seriously considering coming up with a solution very soon.

“We have sensitised teachers both at primary and secondary school levels on ways of fighting genocide ideology,” Mujawamariya said.

However, the MPs looked far from being convinced by Mujawamariya’s explanations. They insisted that serious action must be immediately taken against such schools as

Ecole Secondaire de Gaseke where the probe found some writings similar to the infamous ten Hutu commandments, which were published in the former extremist Kangura newspaper, in the run up to the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.

The deputies also insisted that special protective measures should be devised to protect Genocide survivor students, whose lives the report indicated were in danger in some schools with high cases of genocide ideology. 

 They said serious protective measures must be put in place before the beginning of next academic year due to start on January 7, 2008.  

Some survivor students have had to be transferred to other schools, or changed into day-scholars after either having their belongings destroyed or continuously insulted and intimidated by their colleagues.
Ministers Mujawamariaya and Murekeraho return to the Chamber of Deputies this morning on the same matter.
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