Rwanda’s accession to the East African Community made her part of a greater body whose stability had been on for a much longer time than Rwanda.
This therefore made this country enter a relationship where it is supposed to act, and indeed be, equal in all respects. It is thus supposed to compete with the other countries on the same footing, without any favour or plea.
This is a tall order as it is just emerging out of a holocaust; but beyond this, it is also just emerging out of a decades-old system that was extremely sectarian, and whose harm still continues to stretch its fingers to disrupt the good work that the present administration is doing.
Specifically, the education system was so structured as not to be so African-friendly. Just as it was that business in this society had to grind to a halt for two hours because everyone had to go home for their meals and thereafter have some siesta, as if all of us were French bourgeoisie, so it is that the school system here is so relaxed that children are not supposed to work so very hard at their books.
Look everywhere and you will bear me witness: children walk to school slowly, their shirts and blouses untucked in their shorts, trousers or skirts. At three they leave school for home.
One will ask: is it tucking in that reads books? The answer to this is that it is all about attitude. If one has a lousy attitude to anything, then nothing will come out of their labours.
Teachers and parents have to come out strongly and minister to this country’s young generation, the future of Rwanda. Just go to Kenya here and see the fierce competition that attends schools, even primary schools.
Young ones go to school as early as six o’clock in the morning, and stay as late as five, six o’clock! How shall we compete with this?
I may not have proposed policy, but we have to start from somewhere to show seriousness, and the need to compete.
I am going to attend some classes so that next time I write, it will be to show how the classes are run.
But let us start putting some urgency in the way our children are learning.