PARENTS and educators should encourage children to adopt the reading culture at a tender age, the Minister for Sports and Culture, Protais Mitali, has said.
Mitali was speaking on Wednesday from Nyanza District during a reading campaign organised by Imbuto Foundation in partnership with Rwanda Library Services.
“Reading is the foundation of everything,” Mitali said. “And it should start in our homes.”
According to Mitali, parents should also adopt the reading culture if they are to encourage their children to do so.
“By reading you encourage your children to learn from what you do,” he said, encouraging them to lead by example.
The campaign seeks to encourage children to explore the pleasure of reading and writing, as well as showcase learning as an active process where children should take the lead in engaging with reading materials, according to Assoumpta Ingabire, the head of social and economic development unit at the Foundation.
The social mobilisation campaign also sought to raise awareness among teachers and parents on the importance of cultivating the love of reading and writing in young children, the official said.
More than 100 students as well as dozens of parents and educators attended the event at which students engaged in coefficiency competition .
Students who took part in the competition were drawn from 11 local primary schools.
The students were put into three groups according to their level of studies, with Levels 1 and 2 competing together, Levels 3 and 4 forming their own group while those in Primary 5 and 6 also competed in one group.
The competition, which was held in English, involved identifying the names of animals, tools or house equipment presented on photos and spelling their names and other English words for the first two categories while the third category also had to answer questions related to a short text that was read for them.
After evaluating the competitors’ performance, Teta Niyonsaba (2nd year), Abdul Hagenimana (P4) and Shadia Rugambarwabera (p6) emerged the winners in their respective categories and were awarded trophies each and decorated with an Imbuto Foundation medal.
They are all pupils of Kavumu Islamic Primary School.
Other winners were Christella Chanelle Igihozo (P2) of St Joseph Primary School and Nkusi Rugera, who emerged first and second runners-up in the first category; Belyse Uwiringiyimana and Aslam Murenzi of St Joseph Primary School in the second category, while Nicole Abimana (St Joseph Primary School) and Jacqueline Uwamahoro (Kavumu Adventist PS) were runners-up in the third category.
The winners received bags, books, sports equipment and educative toys, among other prizes.
“I am so happy to have won. It gives me courage,” said Murenzi Aslam, one of the winners. “Reading offers a chance to improve our knowledge so that I give proper answers to questions and tests.”
Call on parents, educators
Minister Mitali called up on parents to help inculcate the reading culture in children by encouraging them to read and giving them opportunities to access books.
He called upon educators to incorporate reading sessions in their schedules to stimulate reading desire in children.
Jennifer Turatsinze, the director of Rwanda Library services, said fostering the reading culture among young children.