LIBERATING RWANDAN YOUTH THROUGH QUALITY EDUCATION

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Education helps young people prepare for adulthood! Increased efforts towards education accessibility, quality and affordability are central to national development efforts. Despite the blindly praised Rwandan miracles; education in Rwanda evolves around RPF values and victory ideology, that has failed and trapped the Rwandan youth through a well-designed alienating education system in which ones history is forbidden.

Wonder why one gets educated and why we invest so heavily in education! Well, education involves the development of physical or cognitive skills, the acquisition of knowledge, and the shaping of values, attitudes, and beliefs; that tends to be important in meeting challenges of social, cultural and political development and in promoting sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth. Getting such knowledge and living out of it is just one reason why people get educated. An educated person lives a meaningful life, freely and s/he never blindly follows ideologies and cheap propagandas.

An education system that fails to mentally liberate the person is just ideologization and mechanization of the person, a case scenario in Rwanda. Through “the RPF-education”, young men and women are fed with ideologies and they end up becoming mechanical engines that blindly follow the fateful direction that RPF is leading them to. Rwanda is the only country where history starts on the 4th July 1994; ironic, isn’t it! Before that date, all that existed was a mere genocide ideology where Hutus perpetrated the killing of the Tutsis, and no need to go back to that dark history, but that is who we are!

Therefore, any attempt to question the historical period before the coming in of the RPF is judged as a genocide denial, it denies Rwandan youth their past and force them to accept identity which is not theirs. Such an education system won’t lead the country anywhere if people ignore their history and roots. Rwanda will end up with people without conscience as those who tend to forget their past are bound to repeat it. To avoid that, education should be inclusive and critical. Instead, the Rwandan youth is tied up and imprisoned by a regime that wants them to embrace a political ideology that keeps them prisoners of their own fate.

Completing high education, students are uncompetitive in their related fields and lack the ability to express themselves in any of the official languages (French and English) and with difficulties in their own mother tongue. Surprisingly, they are told to be job-creators, not job-seekers; of course, they should create their own jobs as they are not qualified for any of the available jobs at labor market. In addition, it tends to be impossible for a social or a business entrepreneur to successfully implement his/her innovative ideas without quality formal or non-formal education.

Have said that, who can risk to entrust an uncompetitive job-seeker with a job offer! No wonder why key positions are held by foreigners: a British as the political advisor of the president, a British as the MD of Akagera National Park, a Scottish as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Rwanda, an Indian as the MD of the combined BRD and BPR banks, etc. So, what is left for Rwandans? Nothing of course, as they are educated not to fit into those positions and later on start questioning RPF propaganda, just like only one man in let’s say more than 3.5 million people fits to lead a nation; insulting, isn’t! No one is born a leader, leaders are created through quality education.

Rwandans minds have been for the past 21 years set in spot where they have to beg for Kagame to remain in power because that is the only language they are able to speak and the level of education RPF gave them. They have been made to memorize it like “kasukus” and as faithful students of their master, they cannot fail to constantly rehearse it. Kagame refused them quality education in order to exclude them from the key sectors of the country’s life and now without him, people feel orphaned. They cannot imagine Rwanda without Kagame because they were ignorantly made so.

But beware! People can work out their plans, but nature never tolerates mediocrity and mediocres pay to last penny of their deeds before they die. President Habyarimana and his mastermind Nsekalije introduced quota systems in education to favour the northerners and their allies. And the rest of the Rwandan students were left for CERAI (Centre d’éducation rurale et artisanat integré!). If Habyarimana could resurrect and analyse what those energetic radicalized young men and women from CERAI did to his regime! May he rest in peace.

These young people were left behind, isolated, marginalized and discriminated; making them more vulnerable to radicalization and extremists violence. The threat posed by violent extremism is not limited to any single ideology. In the Rwandan context; individuals inspired by a range of personal and political ideological beliefs; promoted and use violence to further their interests leading to Genocide. The youth that Habyarimana had failed made him fail too, and a nation went on its knees.

That is what happened when you vow to fail young people. They are a treasure and a wise person would invest in them. Empower them through education and they will empower your regime. Feed them with quality education and they will hold your regime strong.  They are the engines of a nation; they need grease and oil. That is education, quality education that empowers and liberates.

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Rwandan Youth Forum

Terram Pacis Editorial

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