Lycee De Kigali (LDK), yesterday, honoured teachers and students of the school slain during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
The 33-year-old government secondary school was established by the French with the aim of educating French nationals, foreign diplomats and selected Rwandan children.
According to the headmaster Martin Masabo, the school was characterised by segregation before 1994 as the school only admitted children of leaders and their relatives.
“The school used to admit about 300 students only, but now it admits over 1,000. This is a sign that some sections of the society were left out on education due to the bad policies of past governments,” Masabo said.
The student survivors’ association (AERG) leadership at LDK says 13 teachers and 24 students in the school were killed during the Genocide, that left over a million Tutsi dead.
Photos of the victims were displayed and their names read during the ceremony that attracted relatives of the deceased. AERG says they expect to get more names and photos in the future.
A delegation from the school also visited the Ntarama Memorial Centre in Bugesera district where students and teachers were acquainted with the history the place.
Ntarama memorial is a former catholic church where over 5,000 Tutsis were killed in a small building that can barely accommodate 200 people.
Explaining to the students, Gaspard Mukwiye, who works at the memorial said that residents at Ntarama area sought refuge at the church after days of resistance.
“Killings in the whole country began on April 7, but here, people were killed on April 15, 16, after days of resistance,” said Mukwiye, adding that they went into the church anticipating survival after they had been overpowered by the heavily armed Interahamwe militias.
“The youth of that time sought to destroy the country, but you should use your energy and knowledge to build it,” Masabo told the students.
Deo Nzaramba who was a teacher at LDK since 1990 also gave testimony of the situation at the school before and during the genocide. He also presented a lecture on how the Genocide was organised and executed.