Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente Thursday joined almost 500 children representatives from across the country, for the 12th National Children Summit at Parliament.
While opening the meeting, the Premier called upon parents to be good role models for children.
This year’s summit was held under the theme, ‘Positive Parenting: Foundation of the Rwanda we want’.
The head of government said that families, communities and the country in general have everything to gain from well-groomed children and everything to lose in case the opposite happens.
“We are what we are today because of the good upbringing we got when we were children. That is why our government prioritises children rights, which is why we have this special event where children are given a national platform to give their views on the national agenda,” he said.
The forum is aimed at generating momentum for enhanced children’s rights, and duties, and parents’ responsibilities for their children to grow into productive and patriotic citizens and active actors in the attainment of the vision of the country.
In her remarks, the Gender and Family Promotion Minister, Esperance Nyirasafari emphasised the need for parents to treat children with care, and always endeavour to create time to be with them.
“The Children’s Summit is an opportunity to remind parents about their responsibilities toward children. We also want to remind all children to take serious the responsibility of protecting themselves from any danger,” she said.
Meanwhile, the state minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Isaac Munyakazi said that government was planning to publish a dictionary of sign language to facilitate the education of special needs children and ease communication with their colleagues at school.
The 12th Children’s Summit is attended by 416 delegates from children’s forum committees at the sector level; 30 heads of children’s forum committees at the district level and 30 representatives for children with disabilities at the district level.
Others include 12 representatives of children living in refugee camps; 30 children mentors from districts; six mentors of children in refugee camps; members of cabinet; parliamentarians; district mayors; vice mayors in charge of social affairs; and development partners.
“Parents are doing much for us. We should reciprocate by respecting them and avoiding any bad behaviour that can affect our lives” said Ineza Kayitare, one of the children representatives.
The National Children’s Summit was initiated in Rwanda in 2004 at the request of President Paul Kagame.