A sensitization campaign on the importance of paying taxes has started at the King David Academy in Kanombe, Gasabo District of Kigali.
The major aim of forming clubs of that nature is to introduce the students to the concept and function of taxes when they are young so that by the time they are grown up, they are already used to the idea.
The initiative was started and is supported by the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA).
The RRA believes students are in a better position to explain the necessity and function of taxes to their parents, and can help improve adults’ understanding of and cooperation with taxation.
The clubs are called Inshuti z’imisoro (“friends of taxes”) and collaborate with the Ministry of Education to teach secondary schools students and their teachers the values of paying taxes and how it contributes to the country’s economy and development.
They can then pass on what they learn to other youth, their relatives and parents. The programme is not without benefit for the students, too.
Students who score well at the end of programme can win various prizes ranging from uniforms, mattresses, and school supplies such as books and mathematical sets to a full scholarship on their school fees.
The clubs are found in schools across the country and the number of participating students has increased every year, and the RRA intends to open the clubs in other secondary schools. Youths are thus poised to help the government introduce taxation to Rwandans from all walks of life.
This will be done through art, dancing, songs, theatre, poem, sports and any other method that can garner support from the population to pay their taxes and aid Rwanda’s sustainable development.
A student from King David Academy only identified as Higiro said that their approach towards the club was very promising, as they come together with their counterparts from other schools and are learning a lot about how taxes work and why they are necessary.
Ruhumuriza Phenias, a parent of a King David student, expressed satisfaction about the vitality of the programme, and said it becomes easier for parents to understand when the information is conveyed by the children in a home environment.
The parents give the information more weight when it is coming from school, and are less likely to be sceptical of tax initiatives in the future.
The Ministry of Education and National Examination Board laud the programme and intend to include taxation in the curriculum so that students completing ordinary and advanced levels will sit for examinations including basic tax theories.
In regard to the programme’s effectiveness, the director for taxpayer services, Gerald Nkusi Mukubu, said that so far, many students and their teachers express willingness to teach the masses about the importance of paying taxes, and expressed optimism as far as the venture’s success is concerned.