PARLIAMENT - The Chamber of Deputies Tuesday started hearing parliamentary reports from field tours aimed at increasing awareness on the fight against the genocide ideology in schools.
The House heard from MPs who led delegations to the Western, Southern and Northern Provinces and was last evening awaiting the Eastern Province and City of Kigali reports.
Generally, presenters during the Tuesday plenary indicated that cases of genocide ideology in schools were currently on the decline although there still remained a few cases.
The MPs’ field tours were occasioned by last year’s parliamentary investigation which revealed damning evidence that the ideology had been entrenched in many schools.
That report led to several appearances before the Chamber of Deputies by then Education ministers Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya and Joseph Murekeraho.
The two later lost their portfolios in a Cabinet reshuffle although Mujawamariya landed another ministerial post – Gender.
The MPs suggested that the ideology could be on the decline largely because of the concerted efforts put in fighting it.
“In most schools we visited, students revealed that the ideology of genocide had reduced due to stringent measures by school administrators,” Jean-Damascene Gasarabwe, who led the delegation to the Western Province, said.
He observed that many schools have since set up anti-genocide and ‘Never Again’ student clubs to help eliminate the ideology of genocide.
He revealed that teachers had complained that parents were the ones responsible for instilling the ideology in their children, and requested MPs to sensitise the parents on the issue.
It also emerged that threatening anonymous letters had been written to student survivors of the Genocide in the province.
In one example, in College Evangelique de la Paix (CEP) in Rutsiro District, a student told a survivor that ‘wararokotse warokoye iki?’ (You survived, but what did you save?).
The lawmakers said that some students at the same school told them that their parents were telling them that Gacaca courts had been established to enslave Rwandans who do not support Government programmes.
Hon. Bajeni Mpumuro, who presented the report from the Northern Province, said that teachers and school administrators blamed parents for spreading the ideology of genocide.
“Students requested us to talk to their parents about the dangers of genocide ideology,” he told the House.
MP Aaron Makuba, who headed the team that went to the Southern Province, said that there was a drop in the cases of genocide ideology in most schools.
He explained that in some schools students had created ‘student families’ in which members of meet and discuss ways of eliminating the vice and promote unity and reconciliation among students.
Makuba also said that the ideology was mostly evident in day scholars, supporting suggestions that parents were behind the vice as well.
He also pointed out that some students in the province complained of the lack of access to local media, which leave them dependent on foreign media, especially in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Vice Speaker Denis Polisi warned his colleagues against complacency, saying that they needed to make decisions that will help eliminate the ideology from schools and the entire country.