Democracy is just a word on a page unless it can be read. Rwanda must rid itself of any stigma against adult illiteracy in order to shed any feat the country has about moving forward. The basis of any society, as had been said again and again, is a literate population. Once ideas are put on paper, and expressed cohesively, the enrichment of the people can begin.
And it means more than being smart, it means staying alive. A literate mother can be the difference between one who saves her children with the right medicine, and one unable, or too embarrassed to try, to read the instructions on the side of the bottle.
Literacy can be the difference between the man who takes advantage of the latest government and civil-society initiatives and the one who never benefits because he can’t read articles in the newspaper.
It is the difference between those actively engaged in building a newer, better, proud Rwanda, and those whose heads are still in the 1990s.
People should not be afraid to learn to read. It is never too late to make a change in your life and you are never too old to learn something new. Rwandans must be self-starters and not wait for others to always come by with a rescuing hand. The initiative to learn to read and write, and thus to think, form opinion, debate, and grow intellectually is the most patriotic act a Rwandan can make.
You are advancing yourself and you are advancing your country. Our potential as a country can never be reached without you and your personal potential can never be reached when afraid of the previously impossible.
Let us better the literacy levels which currently stand at about 70 percent – a very laudable but nonetheless improvable figure.