Education sector moves to inculcate peace values in young children (Rwanda)

(Reposted from: The Rwanda Inspirer.  August 6, 2019)

By Elias Hakizimana

After realizing that some of the school curriculums used to contain genocide ideology and discrimination that led to 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, the education ministry and school move to scale up curriculums with book and programs on peace and genocide.

Integrating peace education in all school curriculums and activities are based on the new competency-based curriculum.

Jean Baptiste Tuyizere, the Head Teacher of Authentic International Academy said that they have introduced a museum showing the best stages or chain for better children’s education before going to serve the community.

Kids’ museum for Africa Arise and Shine Initiative, he said, ensures that children embrace better Rwandan values learnt through integrating peace education in curriculums…

“The tragic history that happened in this country was caused by discriminative lessons in schools and families. The 1994 genocide against the Tutsi is the harvest of three bad things. These are education that was not based on good values and taboos, false Christianity and third cause is bad leadership. This must be combated through the whole chain of educating children namely; family, school, church, community and others,” he said.

At the school, we correct such vice by telling children that before 1994 there was education that used to teach science but not conscience, not good values, not discipline, not respect in God, he noted.

Explaining the chain, he said that the museum shows that the family has first responsibility to teach a child cultural values or taboos that leads to peaceful family, community and nation in general.

“Our principles say that a child should not go to school without first passing in education programme for forum based on beliefs such as church and early childhood development programme and later to school before going to serve the community with learnt science, knowledge and god values,” he said.

The Head Teacher was explaining the initiative while recently commemorating babies and children killed during 1994 genocide against the Tutsi as Rwanda was celebrating jubilee of liberation.

“Killing babies and children is killing the future of the country during genocide those were between one day and 12 years old are now over 25 years old in the careers medicine, military and police careers among others. Genocide ideology that led to the killings was always taught in schools by even using curriculums with discriminative content,” he added.

 Bernadette Murekatete, who works in Exams Department at Rwanda Education Board, said that peace education is being integrated in all school curriculums as a cross-cutting lesson.

“We should remember by also teaching young children better Rwandan values through school curriculums so that they grow up with patriotic values. If not science will develop but will later be destroyed by lack peace values,” she said.

In the new competent based curriculum, she said, there is also a crosscutting content on genocide history which focuses on peace values.

“Education starts at family level.  We have to start inculcating good cultural values and taboos in children at family level, at school and then community level. The school and Christian values must adjust to what children learnt at family level ensure peace in the country and never again genocide,” she stressed.

Plans by the Government to integrate peace studies in primary and secondary school education have gained impetus after it was recently announced that schools are set to receive 40,000 textbooks on peace and genocide

The teaching and learning materials are comprised of 20,000 teacher guide books and 20,000 model lesson plan books.

The move is intended to promote positive attitudes and values among children and the youth, given they are often an easy target for those who spread the genocide ideology.

Victor Manzi, the vice Director of Ndayisaba foundation said that they have started with few schools and will extend to other schools by promoting peace education among children.

“We have didactic materials teaching children on fighting genocide depending on their age and class level. But both parents and teachers must teach the same values of peace and fighting genocide ideology and discrimination,” he said.


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