George Colman once said, ‘praise the bridge that carried you’ so, we in the education sector take this opportunity to shower praises on the apt leadership of President Paul Kagame for presiding over the radical surgery of the once dilapidated education system.
For an ordinary child to wake up and just walk to school, a lot has really changed. Scenarios of poor children and all children getting free access to education were spectacles only possible in movies- not in Rwanda.
A flash back at how discriminative and oppressive the past fallen regime was in its legitimate duty of providing education to the Rwandan people is a solid trauma for many who found themselves innocent victims of the predatory and selfish regime.
What baffles many is how the silhouette regime had managed to benumb people’s senses in making them accept their basement status.
Ignorance had overtaken people to the point where they did not realize the essence liberating themselves from the yoke of domination.
People who found themselves as farmers knew their ending from the beginning. Their destiny was decided and sealed- to die farmers.
Those born to the then prominent and ‘politically correct families’ were destined not to die because they were not willing to relinquish their elevated social status to the less fortunate.
With the triumphant victory of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), a new dawn begun with the end of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The RPF took over and have signified the burial of the olden system that had sub-divided society and torn the national fabric.
People had been lumped into a train that was swiftly hurtling towards destruction. Danger was looming but a deaf ear was given to the suppressed cries of the oppressed.
I painstakingly tried to figure out the philosophy that guided this barbaric post-colonial regime.
The great philosopher Plato’s model of the structure of society came to my mind. He advocated for an unequal society with golden, silver and iron men.
The golden men were to be the rulers who were to receive the best education. The silver and iron men were lesser and the quality of education they were to receive was to be lower.
Rwanda with golden silver and iron men is past. Liberation is here. Free basic education to all is for the Rwandan people. Daggers are drawn against ignorance. Liberation is on.
Enrollment in primary schools almost doubled with an average annual growth rate of 5.4 million between 1998 and 2009 to reach over two million students in 2009.
As we praise the bridge that carried this nation, let there be a safeguard from any internal or external forces that may torpedo its foundation.