April 21, 2014

Volunteers to boost Primary Education

Posted on December 31, 2013 by in English

Volunteers to boost Primary Education

For the first time in Rwanda, volunteers will be helping out to upgrade the quality of education at the primary school level, especially with courses on how to read and write.

The move was announced by Eric Mahoro, the Director General of Never Again Rwanda (NAR), in order to boost the quality of education which, he said, has appeared to be somewhat poor in writing and reading, specifically for primary school-going children.

NAR is a human rights and peace-building organization that resulted in response to the 1994 Genocide perpetrated against Tutsis.

“Education involves different stakeholders, including volunteers who will be assisting children after class through games and writing. In the meantime, reading [culture] cannot develop unless parents contribute to it as well.

So there is need for everybody’s contribution in order to prepare for [a generation of] children who meet international standards on how to read and write”, said Mahoro.

For Dan Mark Ntakirutimana, one of the volunteers who attended a four-day workshop by NAR in Bugesera district, there is a habit for some students not to review their courses after class. He said that fellow volunteers, all over the country, would help students review their course works and improve on their performance.

According to John Gasana, an official in charge of sports in Bugesera district in Rwanda’s Eastern Province, parents are also to be blamed for their children’s poor performance at school.

“Strengthening education through the work of volunteers brings hope for a solid foundation upon which the country is built.

If people are not educated, their country can’t develop. And the same as one has to beat the iron once it’s still hot, if children are well looked after still at their tender age, they would grow up with a solid foundation”, said Gasana.

If research carried out by the US Embassy in Kigali is anything to go by, said Origène Rutayisire in charge of a national programme for primary education, primary school students in Rwandan schools have harder times when it comes to reading and writing, especially in their first three years of primary school.

And that’s just what NAR wants help fix through volunteers – together with the help of other education stakeholders like Rwanda’s Ministry of Education.

“To achieve the quality of education among children”, Rutayisire observed, “there is need for concerted effort from different stakeholders including teachers, students, their families [parents] and these volunteers who are now adding to the list”.

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