By Elias Hakizimana
Reading culture would lead the childhood and help people plan for children’s future with potential package of skills in various perspectives such as culture, environment, and history and continue to equip the child with additional skills while at school.
A week ago, Rwanda was celebrating Reading Culture where people came together and evaluate their reading abilities, and take decisions to be more familiar with books.
Nyarubaka Sector’s citizens in Kamonyi district were not left behind as primary and secondary school’s students were given such opportunities to test their talents in both reading and writing.
Placide Ushizimpumu, a Senior 5 student at Groupe Scolaire Ruyanza said “Reading culture is very important as our country is moving into the era of knowledge-based employment, reading enhances skills and helps people develop their businesses,” Ushizimpumu.
Madeleine Nikuze, a senior three student at Groupe Scolaire Nyarubaka Saint Albert likes ‘Ni Nyampinga’ books and ensures that reading culture has improved her attitude toward the success at school. “Instead of spending the rest of my free time after class in other things, I use it to read books because it helps me with extra skills,” said Nikuze.
Role of development partners
Sponsored by Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Global Civic Sharing (GCS) trains people in reading culture and equip beneficiaries with materials availability and libraries near their locations to sustain the journey of reading among children and adults.
Marthe Mukaboyi, 48, from Gatagara Village, Ruyanza cell in Nyarubaka sector of Kamonyi District is one among beneficiaries of this initiative.
“I was very analphabet and my life was led by disorder as I could not be able to read or write even my name. With Korean support, I also registered for lessons,” Mukaboyi.
What if someone lacks reading and writing skills?
“I used to be member of saving associations but I could not be an accountant or a secretary in such associations. This should affect my development. Now I can read everything including maps,” Mukaboyi explained.
Her expressions just shows an example of how missing education opportunities is regrettable memory that will make the victim worried in life.
Mukaboyi is still acquiring such skills and she hopes to gather everything just to perform in reading and writing.
This mother of seven can also assist the children to revise their lessons as she understands the best of reading culture.
According to Jean Claude Nzeyimana, a professional in charge of nursery primary education and adults literacy in Kamonyi district, the week will recall the culture of reading among the citizens of Kamonyi district both children and adults.
The literacy week was organized by the Ministry of Sport and Culture (MINISPOC) with the theme “power of reading and writting’.
Kamonyi district has partners like ‘Soma umenye’, the project supported by USAID through Rwanda education board (REB) to develop literacy.
The district targets to train 6,000 adults in reading and writing.
A total of 600 people were trained by GCS within three years ago and during the fiscal year 2016/17, they trained 308 people.
By 2019, all people who do not know to read and write in the whole district will have benefited from the initiative according to Nzeyimana.
Marie Claude Uwineza, an official from MINISPOC said the works to support reading culture do not stop by the week of celebration but they continue to follow up whether the community is fully accessing to the books.
Seunghoon Woo, Project Manager of GCS Rwanda said that even adults are motivated to acquire reading and writing skills and ensured there is no shortage of materials to help learners.
“We believe without literacy capacity, they cannot build skills and self reliance, so, we provide some adult literacy programmes on 20 sites in Nyarubaka sector,” Seunghoon noted.
Janvier Gasana, Director General of Rwanda Education Board (REB) told The Inspirer that the move to support reading culture is being fostered countrywide by availing reading materials to both formal and informal sector, an initiative whereby adults can also learn how to read and write.
He said the particularity of the books is that they contain not only spelling texts but also contents reflecting their daily lives such as agriculture techniques, environment, irrigation which boost them with extra knowledge beyond reading.
“We are doing whatever possible and set measures in increasing reading books through ‘ANDIKA RWANDA’ programme – a writing initiative – that started two years ago. We encourage Rwandans to write books through competitions countrywide where children and other people write children stories and the best ones, which are awarded, are used to compile children books usable in schools,” Gasana noted.
He said that they set up community libraries which host various books for the community.
“We set up a daily training module to train adults who do not know how to read nor write and we call up on all partners in education to support the initiative of reading culture,” Gasana said.