NGOMA — About 27 girls were last Saturday awarded by Imbuto Foundation in its on-going programme of "Promoting Girls Education."
The girls are those that performed better in last year’s Primary Leaving Examinations in the two districts of Ngoma and Kirehe.
They also included one girl who beat others in last year’s senior three (Tron commun) national examination.
The gifts included school bags that contained a dictionary of English and French, a vocabulary and grammar book, Atlas text books, calculator, mathematical set, a watch, a pen and an envelope containing Frw20,000 meant for transport.
They were also given certificates of merit. The event was held at Eto Kibungo in Ngoma district. In their brief interaction the girls encouraged their peers to compete equally with boys in schools.
They also encouraged their fellow girls to do science subjects. Ishimwe Donatille, a student of Electricity at Eto Kibungo displayed her work in electric wiring. She urged girls to discard the perception that sciences are a preserve of male students.
She said, "Everything is simple if you love it and do it with all your heart. We girls should forget the traditional ways of thinking that certain activities were meant for boys and others for girls. We are all born with equal capacities and we can compete equally in any activity."
Addressing the students, Fatima Ndangiza, the Executive Secretary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, thanked the girls for their outstanding performances and urged them to maintain the lead, saying they had a lot of backing.
Ndangiza deplored the tendency of allocating girls more domestic work compared to their mothers, brothers and fathers in families.
She alleged that in families mothers work for 16 hours a day, girls for more, while men work for less than eight hours a day.
Over working in domestic activities by girls, Ndangiza said is one of the things that hinder girls’ academic performance.
"Girls are seen as property and are denied their rights and this is what we should fight to reverse," she said.
"Both male and female children are born equal and they are supposed to be treated equally," she added.
Ndangiza observed that only 24 per cent of girl students join higher institutions of learning most of them in humanities. "Very few girls take science and technology courses and this is because of their inferiority complex. Feeling confidence in whatever you do will determine your success."
Discipline, unity and reconciliation are some of the things she said would determine the success of both male and female students.
On health, Ndangiza urged students to form Aids clubs and to avoid being misled by luxuries.
Ndangiza appealed to parents to give equal opportunities to their children by enrolling them in schools in order to achieve the government’s programme of having a "knowledge based economy."