In its efforts to make sure that students in the Nine Year Basic Education Programme get where to study in the 2010 academic year, the Ministry of Education has sought the help of all people from all walks of life to help in constructing classrooms for the smooth running of the programme.
Under the Nine Year Basic Education Programme, every school age going child is allowed to study the first nine years of primary free of charge. It started in 2009 and came as fulfilment of the pledge by President Paul Kagame during the 2003 presidential campaigns.
The Rwandan government has over the past 15 years, since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, strived to not only provide quality education but to also make it accessible for all - rich or poor, urban or rural.
Rwanda is one of the few countries globally, that provides free basic education at primary school level.
The past regimes that were in power concentrated on providing education for the few people while the masses were left to languish in poverty and with little or no opportunity of accessing basic education.
This led to the lagging behind of our society as far as the education sector is concerned.
The nine year basic programme is currently shy of over 3000 classrooms throughout the country. The budget that had been accounted for the programme was initially over Rwf30 billion, an amount the government of Rwanda could not secure in a short time.
It is here therefore that every one of us has to take heed to the President Kagame’s call in which he is always encouraging us to seek home-grown solutions to the problems that face our society if we are to develop it.
Like a person decides to build a house for their family, thus is how we should all stand up and help build classrooms for these young ones so they can have chance and utilise the opportunity to go through the first nine years of education.
When you talk to a cross section of people about this issue, you find out that everybody is in support of the programme.
The whole idea sounds good and any sane person would not deny its importance. However, the problem in such circumstances is that many people will just show their support on the lips and when it comes to the real act, few will surely do what is expected of them.
This is the time for us to act the talk and not to show the interest in something and when it comes to real time to work; we all look the other way.
It would be a disaster if we overlooked this initiative and failed to act accordingly because in the first place the government is helping us to secure the future of our own children. It is us who will benefit from the whole thing in the end and hence need to throw all our energy behind it.
I think the government has played its part by introducing free education for all for the first nine years to make sure that no Rwandan child remains at home on grounds of lack of school fees.
So if the government is calling upon us to work hand in hand with it by providing man power and any other needed support in building these classrooms we should all do it with all our energy having in mind the fact that we are doing ourselves a service.
Let us not be spectators while the building is going on because we are left with less than three months to the time that these classrooms are needed.
Our children will ever be happy and proud of us if they see us as one stand up to make sure that they get a nice place to study so they can have a bright future. Just get your brick to the site.