The cultural month in schools which was launched on February 2 has shown the Ministry of Youth and Culture that there are programmes that need to be maintained and others that need to be strengthened. According to Edouard Bamporiki, Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, the month provided the Ministry a space to remind Rwandans in different sectors the stages of education – education in families, in schools, and in the community at large. “This month has provided us a space to converse with teachers and they have taken measures on how they will keep teaching children about Rwandan culture even after it ends,” he said. As part of the month, the Ministry of Youth and Culture on February 25 visited Ecole Les Poussins, a school located in Gikondo, Kicukiro District. The school launched a cultural program that gathers students and teachers on Fridays and serves as a platform to learn Rwandan culture and contribute to its sustainability. Speaking at the launching ceremony, Bamporiki said that when they come and hear what the children ask, what they know and what they don’t know, it helps them to improve their programmes whether by increasing content that is aired on TVs and social media or by increasing other learning materials like books. He noted that during the month, they got time to tell parents that the basic Kinyarwanda language is learned at home, adding that even schools are urged to give students a chance to know their language and the right to learn Rwandan history as well as values. “We will look at schools that are said to not have those programs and they will be given what is needed to start them so that a Rwandan child doesn’t get separated from Rwanda,” he said. Bamporiki also said that the Ministry through Rwanda Cultural and Heritage Academy has prepared more Kinyarwanda books and is seeking to distribute them to schools, urging children to write in Kinyarwanda, especially poetry because the intelligence it holds makes a child love the language. Since 2018, the month of February is observed as the cultural month in schools and during this period, students have exclusive discussions about the Rwandan cultural philosophy, values and language beyond what they are taught in class. Delphin Kalisa, Managing Director of Ecole Les Poussins said that since they have an international program where Rwandan students study in foreign languages, the students tend to become more foreign than Rwandan, adding that the cultural program will help them to learn the Rwandan culture through traditional dance, poetry and embracing Rwandan values. He said that they also sensitise parents to teach their children to speak Kinyarwanda at home. “What we are avoiding is having parents who oblige their children to speak French when they speak Kinyarwanda at home or in class. We want to teach them that a child is Rwandan and that if they can speak French well, they can also speak Kinyarwanda well because it’s their mother language,” he said. Gaju Iriza, a primary school student at the school said that she will keep learning Kinyarwanda and try to speak it at home with her family so that she can be a Rwandan girl with Rwandan values.