The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) plans to introduce leaders and teachers’ cultural education centres (Itorero) this year to enable them meet and discuss different problems confronting the country.
“Teachers and leaders are key stakeholders in social and economic development of our country, we want them to use the Rwandan culture to discuss and find solutions to national problems,” John Baptist Habyarimana, the president of NURC, said over the weekend.
He was speaking to reporters at Hotel Novotel Umubano. He said that Itorero for teachers was necessary since they are involved in training the young generation the good practices that would help in molding and brightening their future based on culture.
The education system (itorero ry’igihugu) was launched last year, with at least 24, 000 people trained under the system to help train their fellow citizens on a number of issues including Rwandan culture from the grassroots’ level. It was initiated to promote culture, fighting genocide ideology and fostering the unity and reconciliation process among the masses.
“It will give teachers a platform based on our culture to solve problems, promote national unity, instill discipline and fight genocide ideology in their respective schools,” Habyarimana said.
He noted that teachers have a big role to play in unity and reconciliation and itorero will help them put together their ideas on how to handle difficult situations encountered by students. He said that since leaders are policy makers, it was also good to engage themselves in a number of cultural activities that used to address Rwandan problems before colonialism, including the Gacaca system.
He added that Itorero would reach out to all administrative levels including the lowest village level (Umudugudu), sector and district and at the national level to enable all citizens participate in finding own solutions to their problems.
He said that it will prepare and coordinate national programmes for the promotion of national unity and reconciliation and government development programmes.
NURC is mandated to put in place and develop means of restoring and consolidating unity and reconciliation among Rwandans. It also educates and mobilises the population on matters relating to national unity and reconciliation.