Rwanda Education Board (REB) has called on its partners to work together to hone reading culture in children at all levels of education, saying that reading is foundation for quality education.
REB director-general Janvier Gasana, who was speaking on Tuesday at the closure of ‘Literacy Month’, recognised the partnerships and activities carried out throughout the month to promote reading culture in the country, saying reading should be embraced by the young and elderly alike.
“Reading is essential to enable each Rwandan develop a wide understanding of what’s taking place around the world. It’s the cornerstone of academic learning and the biggest leverage point to the quality of education and sustainable development. Reading is a culture that everyone needs to nurture,” he said.
Rwanda Reads, a network of public and private partners led by the Ministry of Education, organised a series of events across the country throughout the month under the theme, “Open a Book, Open the World.”
During the campaign, partners read stories to children at hospitals, held book forums, gave primary students a tour of the Kigali Public Library, held book club discussions, awarded writers at community libraries, organised reading and spelling competitions, and gathered for writers’ workshops, among other activities.
James Vuningoma, the executive secretary of Rwanda Academy of Languages and Culture, said reading is fundamental to any community.
“We shouldn’t forget to promote our language being the symbol of our dignity and identity as a people. It’s also fine to learn other languages because there are the signs of togetherness,” he said.
Vuningoma said it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, everyone can learn how to read and write fluently.
Ellina Nyirashemeza, a 58-year-old from Nyamasheke District, said it was an opportune moment to encourage others to read and write.
“I graduated from Adventist Development and Relief Agency after spending two years learning how to read and write. I can now read the Bible and people can no longer lie to me (about documents),” she said.
The event also featured exhibitions and awarding of individuals and organisations for excelling in various books-related competitions.