Issue on Table
It is twenty-two years after a section of Rwandans descended onto their neighbours, mercilessly killing them and within just 100 days, over a million people had died. Even as we count 22 years down the road, the issue of people who deny this Genocide or trivialise it are still out there while the ideology, which was used as a tool to sow the seed of discord among the people of Rwanda to an extent of neighbours turning against those they had lived with for generations, is also prevalent.
Students and parents share their views on how the current education system is addressing the aspect of discrimination based on one’s ethnicity or social background and what more can be done to address the challenge of Genocide ideology, especially in institutions of learning.
Didace Ntambara, Guild president of University of Rwanda’s College of Education
Imagine an education system where students get persecuted in school and school enrolment is characterised by sectarianism and ethnic discrimination. That is what was being done against Tutsi in school before and during the Genocide. But now, the education system recognises education rights for everyone. The next generation must stand firm against Genocide denial and ideology to have guarantee that the future is safe for all Rwandans.
Anitha Mukamusoni, parent and the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperatives
Genocide ideology among students can come from parents and teachers or it can be passed from one student to another. Genocide ideology can make students lose focus because they are driven by the intent to harm others. So, it’s the responsibility of parents and students to ensure that the education our children get will develop their country.
Kenny Mupayana, an IT specialist
Although it may be hard to completely eliminate Genocide ideology in schools, parents and schools should create an environment where students observe peace and harmony. Also, and more groups should be formed to sensitise learners about the consequences of the Genocide ideology.
Evariste Uwamurengeye, resident of Nyamasheke District
Peace is paramount. We live in harmony and the current security has promoted business prosperity. Twenty-two years after the Genocide, no parent should be thinking of poisoning their child with destructive Genocide ideology. Students should also think critically and keep away from messages promoting Genocide ideology.
Jean Marie Vianney Cyuzuzo, a student at the University of Kigali
Students are the future leaders of our country and if they indulge in Genocide ideology, they will spread it among other people, which would destroy the achievements made over time. There is therefore, need to fight Genocide ideology and this should be done through putting more efforts in promoting unity and reconciliation clubs and setting up anti-Genocide clubs from the early child development centres up to university level.
Jean de la Paix Nsengiyumva, a senior four student at Ecole Technique de Karuganda, Burera District
Students, parents and teachers should not indulge in Genocide ideology because it would set us back; rather we should strive to build our country, be friendly to one another and help one another so that we build a good future.
Antoinette Nyinawandori, student at the University of Kigali
Genocide ideology in school could result in many issues, especially hatred among people. The focus to fighting this ideology should be put on parents because children trust their parents and listen to what they tell them.
Jacques Sindayigaya, a motorcyclist
Anti-genocide clubs should be created in schools. This will help the students to know the importance of peace and unity. On the other hand, parents should avoid narrating to their children about negative things done by specific ethnic groups; rather, they should teach them how to live positively with all people.