Head-teachers have welcomed the extension of road safety campaign in schools saying that it will help to enlighten students on traffic rules and regulations and grow up with positive attitude on safe road usage as pedestrians and drivers.
Rwanda National Police (RNP), National Commission for Children (NCC) and the association of owners of driving schools in Rwanda (ANPAER), mid last month, launched the road safety education in schools. The two-month campaign is expected to reach 2, 379 primary and 1, 647 secondary schools across the country.
On Wednesday, the campaign was extended to heads of schools across the country.
Jean Damascene Ndayisaba, a headmaster at Groupe Scolaire Mwurire II in Rwamagana District, said that it is good to extend road safety education to students to help them take caution and make safer decisions when using the road.
“We have lost three students who died in road accidents, that is why we are aiming to talk to students and parents, form road safety clubs and ensure that road security becomes part of our curriculum,” Ndayisaba said.
Jean Baptiste Habanabashaka, head-teacher at Groupe scolaire Kagugu in Gasabo District, said that the training was important because their school is located near the main road and majority of their students walk to school, which makes them vulnerable to accidents if they make reckless decisions.
“This training left us with new skills of how to educate and guide our students on safer road usage; how teachers and parents can work together to ensure that children don’t fall victim of accidents,” Habanabashaka added.
In Musanze District, Emmanuel Nizeyimana, the head-teacher of Groupe Scolaire Karwasa, said that it is important to know the meaning of traffic signposts and how safe to cross the road, which every student should know.
“We lost two students to accidents because they were using the road recklessly, we believe introducing road safety education in schools will help to change students’ attitudes to take safer decisions when crossing, walking on the left side of the road and do away with dangerous behaviors of playing in the middle of the road.”
Gerard Bahizi, the director of Teachers Training Center (TTC) Gacuba II in Rubavu District said that students constitute the biggest number of road users although many of them are not aware of traffic rules and regulations including road sign posts and traffic lights.
“This is part of saving lives, and as mentors it is equally our duty… we are not teaching students to die in accidents but to be important people for this country in the future.”
Edith Uwizeye, the headmistress of Mushubati Primary School in Nyamabuye Sector, Muhanga District, said: “I like the campaign so much; we are learning many things, especially on students’ behaviours and our duty as teachers in shaping their behaviours.”
She added: “They are future drivers and even now they are using roads as pedestrians or passengers. Teaching the young generation will prevent road carnage in the future, ”Uwizeye said.
Road safety education in schools is part of the year-long national campaign dubbed ‘Gerayo Amahoro’ launched in May, targeting all categories of road users in an effort to promote positive attitudes on road and curb traffic accidents, which are largely attributed to human behaviors.
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