School children from across the country especially those from the remote districts are soon to submit a document gathering their acknowledgement, wishes and views to Rwanda’s Parliament for consideration in the 2019/2020 budget planning, The Inspirer has learnt.
The children appreciate some achievements by the government in promoting their development such as improving quality of education by reducing school dropouts, increasing classrooms, alleviating the issue of street children, fight against children underage labour, combatting malnutrition; but also request for more efforts to respond to some challenges that are still affecting their education.
Raissa Tetero, 15, a senior one student at Ecole Secondaire Scientifique Islamic de Nyamirambo said “We thank the government for their efforts in making children development possible, today we are putting forward our ideas to the parliament and we have raised issues that need more attention for consideration in the 2019/2020 budget,” she said.
Tetero and other children were speaking on Saturday in Kigali during an extra-ordinary session organised by Children’s Voice Today (CVT) Organisation where they met and gathered all issues that need consideration in the 2019/2020 budget.
Anita Dushimimana, in senior three, G.S Gatore, Gatore Sector, Nyamiryango cell in Kirehe District said that they have found some serious issues like children who drop out of school and local authorities keep quiet.
She said some of the reasons of dropouts include financial capacity of parents, hunger, delinquency and body harassment by teachers who still beat children. “We request the government to be near parents and advise on how they can treat children to help advance their education development,” Dushimimana said.
Clenie Uwihirwe, from senior three G.S Rugarama in Burera District advocates for classrooms that are still not enough in most of schools. “We request members of the parliament to help us advocate for these issues so that we enjoy our life and education rights,” she said.
“We also request the government to consider an increase of ECD centres to help children have lessons at early age,” she added.
Jean Pierre Nteziyaremye, 17, is a senior 6 student at GS Paysannat L in Mahama sector in Kirehe District said that they want the government to increase the budget that supports orphans whose parents died.
“We want that the government increases the budget to bring children from streets to the homes to get support. We have 36 children who do not have both parents in our location, most of them fail to go to school. My colleague Niyonsenga was in senior two but he dropped out and went to Kigali for domestic work because he did not have someone to take care of him,” Nteziyaremye said.
Magnifique Kwizera, 16, is from Ruhango District and a senior six student. He said that he and his colleagues were ready to visit the parliament on May 11, 2019 to expose their issues that hamper quality of education and welfare.
“In my native sector of Kabagari, many children drop out of school due to poverty. The government needs to consider this and to dedicate ways for children with disabilities at schools,” Kwizera said, adding that at his school many children sleep in classes and do not attend the following day because they are hungry.
Another issue he mentioned is harmful and unnecessary punishments given to children at school that also push them to drop out.
Children also said they lack pure drinking water at school, lack of comfortable chairs in classes, etc.
Innocent Ntakirutimana, an official from Children Voice Today said that they need that the government consider their voice and ideas in budget planning and implementation for their welfare and education development.
He blames families of irresponsibility that causes children to go on streets. “We need to look solutions from families,” he said.
He said that the budget is needed while moving children from streets to their homes. “it is pre-requisite to help such children return to school as most of them dropped out for poverty reasons. Reason why the budget is crucial,” Ntakirutimana noted.
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