In a bid to inculcate good reading and writing skills in the young generation, Macmillan Rwanda Publishers, in conjuction with The New Times and Radio Flash, held the first children’s reading and writing contest at Hotel des Mille Collines on Tuesday.
Under the theme: “Read a book, there is more fun,” students from 13 primary and secondary schools which included Riviera High School, Kigali Parents School, Fawe Girls’ School, Wellspring Academy and Green Hills Academy among others displayed their reading and writing skills.
Gifts worth Frw2 million ranging from reading books, Macmillan T-shirts, drawing books and Macmillan pens among others were given to the children after each presentation.
Arthur Barigye Mugunga, the General Manager of Macmillan Rwanda Publishers, said that the contest was organised mainly to help children adopt a good reading culture.
“Few parents and schools buy reading books for their children. This is therefore one of the ways through which we can persuade our young generation to read and write,” he added.
Despite the fact that many students managed to read and express themselves better in the English and Kinyarwanda languages, French remains a big challenge.
Different talents in composition were also unveiled. Gloria Sumba, a Senior One student from Riviera High School, presented a good gender balance poem, which is set to run in the Womens’ magazine of The New Times this month.
The Editor of The New Times, David Gusongoirye, emphasised that reading is interdependent with other skills like writing, and that therefore children should read extensively so that they can understand the language better than people who do not read at all.
“Rwanda offers an opportunity of using three languages. In this competitive world, one with three languages will compete better than those with fewer languages. Children should thus use the opportunity to learn all the three national languages, and also use their reading skills to improve their grammar and vocabulary,” he advised.
Eugene Rudasingwa, the proprietor of Remera Academy School and Kigali Infants’ School thanked Macmillan and the sponsors of the contest for such an innovation, adding that it was very educative since children share knowledge and learn from each others’ mistakes.
“I think reading is a principal way to success and I believe students should read hard in order to pass exams highly,” Carol Mbabazi of Fawe Girls School commended.
Mugunga was very optimistic that such contests will continue to be held in different parts of the country so that each Rwandan child is enticed to read a book.
“We are determined to give a chance to each Rwandan child to read and write. In fact, in approximately two months we shall hold the same contest in the Northern Province,” he pledged.