By Elias Hakizimana.
Rwanda government with development partners started a pilot programme in assisting children’s education through boosting the culture of reading during the montly Umuganda Community work at sector’s level.
The initiative was launched on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at the District’s level at Ecole Primaire Kagugu in Kinyinya Sector, Gasabo District and is in line with the literacy month that will be closed on Monday, September 30, 2019.
It under USAID-Mureke Dusome project that is implemented by Save the Children Rwanda with Umuhuza organization.
Speaking to the media after this special umuganda, Languida Nyirabahire, the Vice-Mayor of Gasabo District in charge of Social Affairs said that the initiative is taking place nationwide at every sector.
“We are planning to set up libraries at every school to help children read at early age. We encourage parents to help their children read and this is under their responsibilities,” Nyirabahire said.
Patrick Manzi, the representative of 67 volunteers who assist children to read at USAID-Mureke Dusome said that they help children to read in Kinyarwanda as mother language that is helpful for their future success in upper education levels.
“The programme is important and we can see significant results. 47 children in Gasabo District wrote their own books using local materials such as boxes, clothes, sheeting. We request parents to help children read starting from home and learn from domestic materials as most of them have syllables,” he said.
“We have what we call Syllable of the day to remind children that it is their work to repeat syllables so as to memorize them,” he added.
There are over 500 volunteers in reading countrywide who help children and mature people to read in line with promoting the culture of reading and writing.
Solange Umwizerwa, Deputy Chief of Party in USAID-Mureke Dusome said that the programme will help children in P1, P2 and P3 to get advanced knowledge in reading. He noted that it is a joint action that involves the government, parents and development partners to contribute to quality of reading among children through different iniatives including Umuganda Community work.
“It can be even possible that a child with parents can sit and home and write books and we encourage that”. She said.
There are 2524 associations of reading countrywide and are in every village that host government schools.
Since 2016 with Mureke Dusome project, over 800 different book titles were written.
Parents and children however still claim lack of enough books to read at home.
Jeanne Urimubenshi, the mother of one child of Kindergarten from Gicikiza village, Kagugu cell in Kinyinya sector said that she used to help her child to read when she comes from school.
“My child is in 1st year of kindergarten, when she comes from school, she takes a rest and before I go for evening home activities, I help her to read syllables from the book I bought for her and she likes it very much,” she noted.
The literacy month under which reading programmes are organized is the government’s initiative sponsored by the of Education (MINEDUC) with the Ministry of Sport and Culture (MINISPOC) and other Ministry partners, aiming at promoting the culture of reading and writing. This year it will be concluded in Nyagatare District on September 30, 2019.
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