PARLIAMENT - Members of the Chamber of Deputies have recommended that two senior cabinet ministers appear before the Lower House to explain what their ministries are doing to curb alarming genocide ideology in schools. During a recommendations session on last Monday’s release of a parliamentary probe report which revealed damning details about how much the ideology is entrenched in schools, MPs demanded that Education Minister Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya and her Local Government counterpart, Protais Musoni, be summoned to the House in connection with the disturbing findings.
The MPs suggested that the ministers appear before they break-off for Christmas holiday.
They want the two ministers to explain what kind of programmes have been put in place to fight genocide ideology among secondary school students, which the report blamed to school administrators, teachers and parents.
The perplexed parliamentarians also demanded immediate enactment of the law to punish genocide ideology.
“The law will not only protect student survivors in schools but also cure the country of the ideology of genocide that dragged it into the 1994 Genocide,” MP Juvénal Nkusi said late last week.
Nkusi said that students and school administrators found to be habouring genocide ideology should be dealt with accordingly.
The lawmakers also noted that it is incumbent upon them to see that the law is put in place to protect Rwandans from going back into the past history.
The president of the ad hoc committee which conducted the probe, Donatilla Mukabalisa, said only tough recommendations and subsequent action can help scale down the ideology of genocide in schools.
“We shall also be required to make follow-up on the previous recommendations made to various ministries and institutions to ensure that they are duly effected,” she said.
This follows a report presented by a team of MPs who have been investigating genocide ideology in schools since August. The report revealed a damning rate of cases of genocide ideology in several secondary schools around the country.
According to the report, Association pour la Culture, l’Education et le Developpement Integre (ACEDI) de Mataba, and Ecole Secondaire de Gaseke in Gicumbi District, Northern Province, were ascertained as the schools with the highest cases of genocide ideology, tying at 97 percent cases.
The MPs demanded various ministries to take appropriate action to tame the problem.
The Ministry of Education was asked to establish anti-genocide clubs in schools and ensure that at least every student belongs to one of them.
The ministry was urged to employ teachers and school administrators who are competent and can therefore prevent any form of genocide ideology among students.
“Organising seminars and debates about genocide ideology in schools would ensure that students participate in fostering national unity,” MP Francis Kaboneka suggested.
MP Gédéon Kayinamura proposed that the ministry initiates a programme of organising student visits to Genocide memorial centres.
“The young generation needs to witness what happened during the 1994 Genocide as this will help them understand the danger of nursing genocide ideology,” Kayinamura said.
The Ministry of Local Government was asked to instruct local authorities to make regular visits to schools, suggesting at least once every school term. Kayinamura said during these visits, the officials would sensitise students on shunning genocide and divisive ideologies.
District authorities were also urged to work closely with school administrators to ensure that schools are well managed.
They also said that survivor students should be availed with scholastic materials on time. The legislators also said that the Justice ministry should sensitise prosecutors and judges particularly on the dangers of genocide ideology to help them better understand the matter.
The House also called for the speeding up all Genocide related cases.
MP Bernadette Kanzayire suggested that the Ministry of Internal Security should ensure that security agencies work closely with school administration to protect student survivors who are being harassed at schools.
MP Connie Bwiza Sekamana pointed out that the Ministry of Infrastructure and Ministry of Information in the Prime Ministers’ Office should facilitate media coverage for cases of genocide ideology in all parts of the country.