Monday, November 5, 2018

Promoting Education for the Future

As UNESCO is celebrating World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April by highlighting the need to preserve creativity from piracy. The Day also marks the launch of celebrations in Ljubljana (Slovenia), World Book Capital for 2010.

I was thinking of what this date means to Rwandans after the week of mourning and the continued 100 days of commemoration of the 1994 Genocide, I was imagining the meaning of World Book and Copyright Day and I thought I could visit some schools around to see what it really means.

One thing that I believe for my Rwanda is that education is a necessary step in Rwanda’s reconciliation work from the 1994 genocide. Rwanda’s current population is about 9 million, but it is estimated to double by the year 2020 with 60% of the population below the age of 20. Rwanda is the most densely populated and the most impoverished country in Africa, in order to grow from poverty to middle income, Rwanda’s poor must benefit equally to the upper classes. Over half the population (56.9%) lives under the poverty line and 36.9% live in extreme poverty. One opportunity for equal success is through equal education. Education initiatives must be developed and enforced now in order to combat this foreseeable challenge.

Over the past 5 years, primary school attendance has slightly increased. Eight out of ten of the official primary school age is enrolled. Secondary school attendance, on the other hand is severely low. Only three out of ten children among secondary school age is enrolled. This is due to the fee discrepancy between the school levels:

As stated in the EDPRS document (a government’s second medium term strategy towards attainment of the long-term Rwanda vision 2020 objectives) which aims at consolidating and extending the strong achievements in human development while promoting three flagships programmes: sustainable growth for jobs and exports, vision 2020 umurenge (integrated rural development program to eradicate extreme poverty and release the productive capacities of the poor) and good governance.

As indicated in the EICV2 surveys, the primary enrollment rate increased from 74% to 86% between 2000/01 and 2005/06 (appendix1: table 9); the Ministry of Education’s management system data reports an increase in net primary enrolment from 75% to 95%. The improvement has been seen in both rural and urban areas.

When I was talking to the students and pupils in the schools they indicated lack of peer leadership and role models in writing and reading. They requested that libraries and sensitization about the culture of reading and writing should be emphasized. So Rwandans it is up to us to help and support our brothers, sisters, children, aunts and uncles by writing and reading so that we can observe the World Book and copy right day. Congratulations to scholars and individuals who have inspired us by producing books.

No comments: