Teachers not well equipped to teach Genocide history – Education minister

Minister of Education Eugene Mutimura addresses the committee as Irenée Ndayambaje, the Director General of the Rwanda Education Board looks on yesterday. Sam Ngendahimana.

The Minister for Education has said that some teachers are reluctant to include Genocide-related content while teaching because they are not sure of the appropriate way to address a topic considered sensitive, especially in primary and secondary level.

Eugene Mutimura disclosed this on Thursday while appearing before the parliamentary Standing Committee on Unity, Human Rights and Fight against Genocide.

The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), in their 2017/18 report, showed that one of the challenges in fighting Genocide ideology was teachers who don’t adequately teach the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

“Between 1994 and 1997, teachers didn’t teach the historical background of the Genocide because they lived it and some of them still harboured genocide ideology themselves. Now we have started teaching it but we do not have enough pedagogical materials,” the minister pointed out.

“In 2016, we launched a competency-based curriculum which contains topics on Genocide. We shall keep on working together with concerned organs to teach students not only at school but also outside school. 

“It is a continuous exercise which has to be done at schools and in the rest of the Rwandan community and we hope it will help,” the minister added.

Iréneé Ndayambaje, the Director General of Rwanda Education Board (REB) told the MPs that among the plans to address the challenge, is to train teachers.

“Teaching Genocide history, its denial and ideology is a collective effort. One of the ways of fighting genocide ideology is training History teachers as they interact with students and sometimes they are questioned on Genocide. They have to be well equipped in order to teach and respond effectively,” Ndayambaje said.

MP Elisabeth Mukamana, the chairperson of the committee, acknowledged the contribution of the ministry in teaching Genocide history but urged them to re-introduce another national civic education training session, commonly known as Itorero.

“The last Itorero for educators was in 2008, we strongly urge you to train all teachers, mainly to familiarise them with teaching Genocide history. And it would be better if it is done soon,” Mukamana said.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

 

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