Teachers mind: Fight Genocide ideology in schools

A good day can be instantly changed into a terrible one just by a phone call or an announcement over the radio or television.

A good day can be instantly changed into a terrible one just by a phone call or an announcement over the radio or television.

It’s not advisable to answer a phone call while driving not just because your attention may be compromised but also because bad news delivered over the phone while you drive may cause you to abruptly stop in shock and cause an accident.

On the evening of Thursday 13th December I was taken aback by a report I heard while listening to BBC radio at home.

According to the report, it was revealed that some secondary schools had been found to have elements propagating genocide ideologies.

In the report, the Minister of Education Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya told BBC that about eleven schools had been found to have this problem after an investigation by members of parliament.

I have read a lot about the events that led to the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. I have also visited various genocide memorial sites and tried to reflect on the gruesome effects of the infamous 100 days of 1994.

As a teacher, I have come across hundreds of students who are genocide survivors. Some of them even have visible physical scars. Many of them still carry massive emotional scars.

During the second term of the academic year very many students suffer from trauma mainly because it’s just after the Genocide memorial week.

The numerous documentaries concerning the genocide tend to open wounds that the survivors have inside them. It is very painful to witness what these students go through.

It is even difficult to comfort them because you may not know the gravity of their pain. Therefore when I heard the BBC report I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my heart especially for the genocide survivors.

These children went through unimaginable pain during the genocide and the healing process is still along way to go for most of them.

It is very saddening to hear that some crazy fellows are interested in awakening the ghosts of the deadly 1994 Rwanda Genocide.

The current government has invested a lot of time in reconciling all Rwandans so that Genocide never happens again. The phrase “Never Again” is not mere rhetoric.

This is a declaration and determination that Rwandans and all peace loving people n the world are determined to follow through. The Jews said “Never Again” and Rwandans are for the same.

A school is a very fundamental institution that should not be played with. It brings together children from diverse backgrounds.

It is very dangerous to start intoxicating these young minds with ideologies that some sacrificed lives to fight against.

Children have got young and easily impressionable minds. They need to be fed on a lot of constructive ideas nothing destructive because it is likely to stick.

Children come to school to learn skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will benefit them in future to live meaningful lives.

It is therefore very unfair for a teacher or fellow student to misuse the opportunity of constructive learning to indulge in propagating genocide ideology.

School authorities admit learners to their schools not tribes. They know very well that Rwanda today recognises all people as Rwandans period.

The divisions that were created by the previous governments and colonial regimes have no place in Rwanda today.

The laws related to the genocide are also very clear and so anyone involved in these silly activities should not be treated with kid gloves. More so, ignorance of the law is no defence.

I urge all those responsible to continue with investigations to bring to book all those involved in this. A teacher who teaches his learners the wrong things is simply poisoning them and this can not be allowed to continue.

This matter should not be handled lightly because the consequences are known by all of us. The government programmes of unity and reconciliation are in place to curb the attitudes that led to the gruesome events of 1994.

Even after school, students that are to join the university are taken for solidarity camps where the objective is to fight against the genocide ideology. They are taught to live together as Rwandans who love their country.

A secondary school and any other school is also a solidarity camp in its own way because here learners from different backgrounds come together with the objective of acquiring skills, knowledge and attitudes that are crucial in life.

Not dangerous genocide ideologies. Rwanda and in particular schools have no place for genocide ideologies.

Contact: ssenyonga@gmail.com

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