Develop Umuganda culture in schools

Editor, RE: “Devt is not miracle but result of hard work, says Kagame” (The New Times, August 30).
Students carry a stone during the Umuganda activity to construct a classroom block in Gatsibo. (T. Kisambira)
Students carry a stone during the Umuganda activity to construct a classroom block in Gatsibo. (T. Kisambira)

Editor,

RE: “Devt is not miracle but result of hard work, says Kagame” (The New Times, August 30).

Once again, the President reminds us of the essential: development is not waiting for “partners” to give us things, or to do things for us. In my own understanding, true development is rather a process of de-colonizing our mind, both individually and collectively.

Yes, indeed, we are surrounded by, and have within us, plenty of all kinds of resources just waiting to be tapped into.

What is lacking now, instead of being mesmerised by so many prestidigitators of development, is just to focus our individual and collective mind on our own wealth and then, together, grab the hoe and contribute actively.

To be really effective, perhaps this hands-on participation in development shouldn’t be performed by adults only, just once a month at Umuganda day. How about the Ministry of Education decreeing that every child in their respective school, starting from kindergarten, participate in a sort of “light and fun” Umuganda a day every week, at school and/or within the community around them? 

I know of a private school whose head teacher has dedicated every Friday as gardening day, and Rwanda culture performing day. Shouldn’t this format be extended to all schools across the country?

Would that help our children grow up learning to be really self-reliant and practical, and at the same time gradually learning to undertake, later as adults, Umuganda for sustainable development?

Francois-Xavier Nziyonsenga

 

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