Plans by the Government to integrate peace studies in primary and secondary school education have gained impetus after it was announced that schools are set to receive 40,000 textbooks on peace and genocide.
The teaching and learning materials are comprised of 20,000 teacher guide books and 20,000 model lesson plan books.
A donation of Aegis Trust, a nongovernment organisation campaigning to end genocide, the books were developed under a programme called Education for sustainable peace in Rwanda, and were handed over to Rwanda Education Board (REB) yesterday.
Angelique Tusiime, the Deputy Director General of REB, said at a handover ceremony on Tuesday that the books will contribute towards the country’s efforts to fight genocide ideology.
“Rwanda has been putting a lot of effort in restoring peace after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi ravaged the country,” she said
Officials said the move was intended to promote positive attitudes and values among children and the youth, given they are often an easy target for those who spread the genocide ideology.
Tusiime reiterated that fighting genocide and eradicating its ideology needed contribution from schools considering that children spend a lot of time with their teachers.
Freddy Mutanguha, Aegis Trust Executive Director, said that had peace and values education been integrated into schools before 1994, the Genocide would not have taken place at the scale it did. Over a million people were killed in a period spanning three months.
“The books will enable teachers to prepare lessons that equip students with critical thinking skills. This will prevent any circumstances that could trigger conflict or lead to atrocities,” he said.
He disclosed that a digital platform is being developed to ensure that teachers access the books online.
“We will print more books…but we are also preparing a digital platform in collaboration with Rwanda Education Board to make them widely accessible,” he noted.
The new teaching and learning materials fit under the newly revised Competency-Based Curriculum and are expected to help build more peaceful school environment, families, communities and country in general.
In addition, a reference book on Peace and Values Education, Mutanguha said, is being prepared and is set to be published by September 2019.