Rwanda’s Minister of Sports and Culture, Nyirasafari Esperance, has emphasized that there is a need of everyone’s role in the promotion of reading culture among Rwandans.
The literacy rate in Rwanda is 73 per cent of the general population. 76 per cent join adult literacy programs and 86,5 per cent of people aged 15-24 attend schools, according to the Ministry of Education.
This was announced on Thursday during a Press Conference organized ahead of the celebration of International Literacy Day, on 8 September 2019, whose theme is “Reading and writing in different languages is a source of knowledge”.
It will be an occasion to launch the National Literacy Month in an event to be held in Nyamagabe District, Southern Province.
Speaking at the press conference announcing these activities on September 5th, 2019, Minister Nyirasafari, said that Rwandans should develop a culture of reading.
She urged parents to be role model to their children through buying books for them, starting from the early age.
“We call upon young and adults to have a culture of reading.” She said
“We have not only to read what we are given or found in libraries, we have also to buy books to read, like we buy other items. It’s possible to train Rwandans to read from the early age. We want to be counted in societies known by the reading culture”, she added.
The State Minister in charge of primary and secondary schools, Munyakazi Isaac, said that reading and writing in different languages open doors and opportunities like in business and it’s in a line of the Government to build knowledge based economy.
“This will be done through competence based curriculum which is being used in Rwandan schools today. The Ministry of Education is doing more like providing schools with read” Munyakazi said.
While emphasizing on the role of parents in helping children to read, he said among the gifts in occasions like birthdays, they can include books to read.
“I bought a chocolate for my child and I put it in a book, he took the chocolate but also started reading the book; why don’t we do this? I want to emphasize that parents have a big role to play to make sure their children are developing a habit of reading.” He said.
There are at least 67 community based libraries in 24 districts across the country where people can find materials to read.
Since 1966, Unesco officially proclaimed Sptember 8th International Literacy Day whereby the International community is mobilized to promote literacy as an instrument to empower individuals communities and societies.
The celebration of International Literacy Day and National Literacy Month is a joint effort of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Sports and Culture through the literacy platform known as Soma Rwanda.
In this regards Soma Rwanda seeks to support, facilitate and promote efforts to create literate citizens of Rwanda more capable of influencing their own individual achievements, economic growth and better health which will contribute to the overall development and prosperity of the country.