Martyrs Secondary School community last Saturday held activities to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
At the event, students were urged to shun evils of hatred and genocide ideology that characterised the pre-1994 education sector.
Addressing the gathering, Pastor Antoine Rutayisire from the Anglican Church Rwanda testified how he narrowly escaped from the Interahamwe militia.
“By God’s grace, I was saved by the RPF soldiers,” he said.
Rutayisire said despite the sad past, he cannot seek revenge or witch-hunt those who wanted him dead.
“Some of you have experienced the worst with your parents being killed. This shouldn’t be the reason for seeking revenge. What happened to us should not happen to others. We must all embrace forgiveness,” he said.
Alex Mushumba, the head teacher, urged the students not to forget the past.
“Remembering reminds us not to repeat the same history but teaches us to stay away from hate, tribalism, sectarianism and all sorts of divisionism,” he said.
For Innocent Ntawuyigena, the coordinator AERG Kigali Institute of Management, before 1994 education was selective for some.
He called upon his fellow students not be ‘over joyous’ to the extent that they forget where they came from, but rather to forgive as they struggle to build their country.
“Don’t copy the bad behaviour that characterise the contemporary youth like alcohol consumption but rather always aim at developing Rwanda in general. Remember to avoid any incitements that could lead you to develop genocide ideology,” he said.
Olga Mugisha, a student at the school, believes that remembering is an essential element in Rwandan schools since it keeps the students memory of their history alive.
“Some of us might have been born after the Genocide, but remembering keeps us alert to avoid such acts again,” she said.
The event was also characterised by the drama activities and poetry recitals with messages against genocide ideology.