The struggle must continue

Teacher’s MindIwas lucky to have attended a primary school where the school motto was simply, "The struggle continues…for greater horizons".

Teacher’s Mind

Iwas lucky to have attended a primary school where the school motto was simply, "The struggle continues…for greater horizons".

I have been forced to think about this motto once again after the bizarre incidents that took place during the Genocide Memorial week.

Just before the annual memorial week had kicked off, the problem of genocide ideology had already been identified and one of the strategies taken was the on-going solidarity camp for all teachers. Teachers needed this camp since it is them that handle the numerous young Rwandans that pass through their tutoring as students.

The fact that students are future leaders implies that they deserve to be handled with great care because they can either build or destroy the nation depending on how they are handled by the education system. It is quite unfortunate that some teachers have lost the plot of teaching and are instead sowing seeds of divisionism in their classes.

The current government came into power just after stopping the fastest genocide in human history. The problem however has been that there are some people who have continued to deny the basic facts of history with an aim of returning this country back to the dark days.

The incident where a student was knocked dead by a car that rammed into a procession of students who were returning from Gisozi is really unfortunate. Without passing any judgement, I think the driver was grossly reckless to say the least. The many students walking on the side of the road should have compelled him to slow down.

Surprisingly it reminded me of an event during the 2001 presidential campaigns in Uganda when a military officer rammed his pick up into supporters of Kizza Besigye that were cleaning the road side. Looking at the two events, one thing comes to mind, malice. Well let the police do its job. However as a teacher I really felt troubled by the event that came within minutes of the grenade attack at Gisozi memorial centre.

In case the two events are found to have any link to the genocide ideologies that the government is so determined to fight then the struggle surely must continue. A few incidents should not deter peace loving people from continuing the fight.

All stakeholders in the education sector and everyone must not give up the fight against genocide ideologies because these same ideologies account for the bad image that Rwanda gained in 1994 and has for 14 years struggled to shed off. Teachers need to teach their students about the fruits of unity and reconciliation always.

Another important thing is that genocide survivors especially in schools should be accorded better treatment. They need to be supported to deal with the trauma that they occasionally experience. These are people who experienced very tough times that have changed their lives for good. They require a lot of emotional assistance for them to feel like others and to perform well in class.

I wish to commend the policy makers that thought about the solidarity camp for the teachers. I also urge them that in order to effectively deal with the deadly ideologies harboured by some Rwandans, the teachings about genocide should not stop with this camp. Booklets should be designed for people to read and further understand the causes and dangers of the genocide.

Regular seminars should also be conducted in different school for teachers, students and school administrators where teachings on unity and reconciliation in Rwanda. The same teachings can also be regularly transmitted on radio and television so that the message reaches everyone.

I agree that the government has already done a lot in this regard but more still needs to be done if we are even to get rid of the problem of genocide ideology for good. In other words, "The Struggle must continue for a greater Rwanda to be achieved".