Twenty six secondary school students who participated in an essay writing competition organised by the East African community (EAC) last year received various prizes on Tuesday.
The prizes included cash, certificates and electronic appliances such as photocopiers, laptops and desktops.
The awards ceremony, that took place in Kigali, was presided over by Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera, the Secretary General of the East African Community. Dr Sezibera was flanked by the Minister for EAC affairs, Jacqueline Muhongayire, and Sharon Haba, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education.
Haba said Rwanda is proud to have a generation that is conversant with all the three official EAC languages; English, Kiswahili and French.
“It’s only Rwandan students who submitted their essays in three official languages. This is a positive development for our education system,” Haba said.
The EAC Essay Competition arises from the need to involve East African students in the activities of the Community as well as foster an East African identity.
“EAC seeks to create awareness among students about the activities of the Community, enable them analyse from their own perspective how best East Africa’s resources can be exploited in light of the regional integration process and to foster a deeper understanding among the students on the existing cultural, historical and political link of the people of East Africa,” Sezibera stated.
Rwanda first participated in these competitions in 2009, two years after being admitted into the bloc.
The participation trend since then has been promising, officials said. Rwanda’s Maurice Mwiseneza emerged 4th overall after presenting his essay on the role of infrastructural development in the fast-tracking of EAC
Haba, however, encouraged students to work hard for better results.
“As we try to reach out to the farthest school in the country, we also ask teachers to help us inculcate the reading and writing culture in students,” she said
Muhongayire said such competitions will help boost Rwanda’s education system.