About 300 employees of Rwanda Education Board (REB), on Friday, visited Bisesero Genocide Memorial site in Karongi District to pay homage to victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
A major attack on the resistance hill of Muyira in Bisesero on May 13, 1994, led to the massacre of more than 40,000 Tutsi, according to survivors.
Survivors’ testimonies indicate that 50,000 Tutsi who lived in Bisesero area were killed in the Genocide, with only 1,000 people from the region surviving.
“Karongi was a site of brutal killings. The most important thing is that the Tutsi tried to resist killings until they were overpowered. The big lesson is that unity can lead to success,” Sébastien Hakizimana, Karongi vice mayor in charge of finance and economic development, said.
Hakizimana said unity and reconciliation drives in the district have been successful.
Eric Nzabihimana, one of the survivors, said they have since regained hope thanks to moral support from Rwandans and friends of Rwanda.
“We are now united as Rwandans. Some orphaned children have finished university while others are in secondary schools. We feel strong now especially with your moral and material support which shows that we are not alone,” said Nzabihimana.
Janvier Gasana, the director-general of Rwanda Education Board, criticised past education managers for sowing seeds of Genocide among students.
He challenged REB employees to play their role of transforming the country by offering good education to students and inculcating values among children.
“We should together fight genocide ideology starting from among children and students under our responsibility.
We should be different from our predecessors whose cowardly acts led to the Genocide,” said Gasana.
Gasana said education should play a critical role in shaping human character in addition to other learning skills, noting that remarkable efforts have been made to tackle genocide ideology in schools.
“During such commemoration period; cases of trauma were high for survivor students after receiving verbal threats and handwritten notes threatening them with torture – from their fellow students – but now such cases are not common in schools,” he added.
Rwanda Education Board contributed Rwf505,000 to help in the maintenance of the memorial site.