Plans to begin teaching peace and reconciliation studies in universities are in the pipeline, an official at the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) has said.
According to Frank Kobukyeye who is in charge of conflict management at the commission, NURC is working with Permanent Education for Peace and Reconciliation (EPPR) to implement the programme.
“We hope to develop the curriculum this year, have it approved by relevant authorities and ensure that studies begin next academic year,” he said this week.
He was speaking during a conference that attracted representatives of different universities and partners at Kigali Serena Hotel.
He said that components of the course will be taught in all faculties under ethics, while some students will major in the study.
There are also plans to have an exchange programme with the Eastern University from the USA for post-graduate courses.
Emile Uwimbabazi, the president of EPPR, said that they will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Eastern University representative this week.
“They have given us a draft memorandum, which we intend to sign after reading through,” Uwimbabazi revealed.
EPPR is in partnership with two other peace and reconciliation building organisations in Washington, Breakthrough Partners and Camp Brotherhood.
Uwimbabazi added that they would have another meeting in March with heads of universities and practitioners of Peace and Reconciliation.
He added that a meeting would be held to discuss how they could introduce the programme in schools (curriculum and the whole system).
EPPR is a private institution which was formed in 2001 to build peace and reconciliation in the country.
Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, the Rector of the National University of Rwanda (NUR), said the programme was timely.
According to Christopher Hall, President-Elect in Eastern University, peace and justice lessons have made impact in the Northern Island.
Gary Edmonds, president Breakthrough Partner, said they are partnering with EPPR to establish a reconciliation centre in Kigali.
“I believe Rwanda needs to think about the future and begin making documentations and tell a story for peace and reconciliation purposes,” he said, adding that the teachings from the centre will make people learn a lesson from the past.