The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF), spent the weekend constructing classrooms in Kigabiro Sector, Rwamagana District, in support of the 9-year-Basic Education programme.
Out of the 127 classrooms needed in the entire district, the soldiers managed to construct six by the end of the weekend.
The contribution by the soldiers must be lauded considering the education task ahead.
For the nationwide programme to start, at least 3,000 classrooms must be complete by January 2010. This would not have been a major challenge, had the funds been readily available.
The total budget required is Rwf 38 billion. however, the government has only managed to raise Rwf 10 billion.
The Minister of Education, Dr Charles Murigande, has already alerted us on the huge task his ministry is faced with.It is no easy feat.
The ministry is left with only four months to raise the required amount and build the much needed classrooms, before the implementation of the 9-year-Basic Education programme, slated for January next year.
The Rwandan government has over the past 15 years, since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, strived to not only provide quality education but to also make it accessible for all - rich or poor, urban or rural. Rwanda is for instance one of the few countries globally, that provides free basic education at primary school level.
The past dark history saw the dictatorship in power concentrate on providing education for the few elites while the masses were left to languish in poverty and with little or no opportunity of accessing basic education.
Meaning that today, the government is not only striving to catch up with lost years of little education, but has to deal with the challenge of ensuring that the fast growing population gets quality education.
President Paul Kagame, during his recent tour of the National University of Rwanda, alluded to the growing pains the education sector is struggling through.
However, the RDF soldiers, and others in various sectors, have shown us that each of us can ease the burden the education ministry is shouldering, by contributing the little we can.
The more the players join the campaign to contribute, whether in cash or kind to the classroom construction programme, the easier it will be for the government to successfully implement the 9-year-Basic Education programme.