MUHANGA - Imbuto Foundation has awarded 58 best performing girls in the southern province in both primary and secondary schools.
This is the 5th annual girl award ceremony since the establishment of the First Lady’s initiative and a total of 479 girls will be awarded under the 2008 program.
The girls received scholastic equipment, laptops, and certificates from Rwanda’s First Lady, Janet Kagame, during a ceremony held at G.S St. Joseph Kabgayi on Friday.
The gifts were presented courtesy of UNICEF, RITA and Imbuto Foundation and the students who received laptops will also get additional training in ICT from SISCO computer systems.
Mrs Kagame said that Imbuto Foundation was set up to boost girl-child education and that the number of girls going to school had increased though their performance and drop-out rate was a problem
"These gifts were meant to boost the performance of girls countrywide and I hope that each of the girls present should aspire to not only become the best in school but become a source of pride and admiration to others" said Janet Kagame.
She added that there was need to address the issue of girls dropping out and low performance should be addressed by everyone. Mrs Kagame urged community leaders to protect children from all sorts of violence and abuse and to provide equal opportunity for the girl child.
Théoneste Mutsindashyaka, the Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education, said that rate of girls drop-out is at 11% countrywide and revealed these issues would be addressed by the ministry.
"The ministry is devising means of addressing the issues and special ways of promoting girl education are under discussion. We are targeting a fifty-fifty equal opportunity for both girls and boys. Where necessary some girls will receive special training ahead of exams" he said.
The UNICEF country representative, Dr. Joseph Foumbi, lauded the First Lady’s initiative and promised support in order to have educated women in future to create a knowledge-based society.
Also present were senators, ministers, the Governor of the Southern Province, local and church leaders, and representatives of various women organizations.