RUBAVU — Tough measures await Rubavu teachers who missed civic education and have failed to apologise, the Mayor Celestin Twagirayezu has warned.
The civic education locally referred to as itorero was conducted for all teachers last month. The mayor issued the warning at a recent meeting with the teachers that missed the exercise at Gisenyi Cultural Centre.
"There are teachers that have come up to explain as to why they missed the government programme of Itorero. Some have attributed their absence to sickness while others say they had gone to visit relatives in Kinshasa since the training took place during holidays. And that it was hard for them to immediately come back for the programme," the mayor said.
Those who have accepted to write apologies, Twagirayezu explained, would immediately resume their work. But the final fate of the teachers who deliberately refused to apologise would be decided by the District Advisory Council, he added.
He said another civic education exercise would be organized for those who missed during the second term holidays. The mayor described Itorero as a traditional methods meant to mitigate Rwanda’s socio-economic challenges and likened it to other traditional programmes like Gacaca traditional courts, the Abunzi (mediators), Umuganda (community work) and many other programmes.
He said that Rwanda had a good and rich traditional culture where people can draw from to get solutions to social, economic and religious challenges that face them.
He explained that the programme was organized for teachers because the nature of their work did not give them ample time to discuss and participate in various government policies.
"Teachers are always occupied by their job. This is why we organized these civil meetings to discuss with them various government policies and the way forward towards the country’s development," he said.
Among the teachers who intentionally refused to attend Itorero were those that belong to the Jehovah witnesses. The group argues that there is only one Itorero of Jehovah and any other Itorero would be against their beliefs.
Efforts to talk to them were futile as they were unwilling to talk to the press. One of them however, who declined to identify himself said that the district authority should know that they "Jehovah witnesses" were not against the government policy but were following the rules of their beliefs. "We strongly believe that there is only one Itorero of Jehovah," he stressed.