The government is committed to promoting education programmes that promote unity and harmony among the youth as a way of stamping out hate and genocide ideology that had been perpetrated by previous regimes, Nehemie Uwimana, Rwamagana District mayor has said.
Uwimana was speaking on Wednesday at the launch of the Rwanda Peace Education Programme in Rwamagana District, Eastern Province. He called upon teachers and residents to embrace the programme so as to foster national development.
The peace education programme launched at the national level late last year by Education minister, Dr Vincent Biruta aims at using lessons from the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to fight genocide denial and to promote peace among the youth.
The programme, funded by the Swedish Embassy, is designed to promote social cohesion through different approaches such as mobile exhibitions, radio programming, art exhibitions, debates and performances as well as workshops.
Rwanda Peace Education Programme manager Anita Kayirangwa said the programme aims at building forces that will give full meaning to the ‘never again’ commitment.
Shedding light on the skills that she learned from the programme, Jackie Ingabire, one of the teachers who have benefited from the teachers’ training programme, said schools at times have not incorporated peace lessons in the curricula hence the importance of the programme.
She noted that peace education had the ability to change participants’ attitudes and behaviours through dialogue and debates.
“Words and lessons have the potential to save or kill; we try to build a society where words do not kill,” he said.
Clarifying on the “critical thinking” that the four partners involved with RPEP wish to employ, she gave the example of the elderly women who had neither strength nor wealth but saved fellow citizens during the Genocide.
The launch was graced by local leaders, including Uwimana, IRDP Deputy DG, Immaculée Mukankubito, Radio la Benevolencija country director Aimaible Twahirwa, education officers, religious leaders and teachers involved in the training.