Rutsiro, October 2nd 2019, Rwanda Ministry of Education has launched the distribution of 1.5 million Kinyarwanda textbooks to P1-P3 classrooms in all public and government-aided schools countrywide.
The event took place in Rutsiro District, Western Province, where nearly 44,000 textbooks in the partnership with USAID Soma Umenye and Rwanda Education Board, have been handed over to officials and parents.
These are new Kinyarwanda textbooks to be used in Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) adopted in 2016. Every child will have his own book, a new achievement according to Mineduc officials.
The Director General of Rwanda Education Board, Dr Irénée Ndayambaje, urged teachers not to keep these books in storeroom but help children using them even after school to fight illiteracy among some students after completing the third grade.
The Ministry of Education, Dr Eugene Mutimura said that using these books will help students developing their thinking skills and performing in lessons.
He said: “80% of child’s brain grows on the age of three. She must be given a chance to have books for reading. Children who can read more words at this age are the ones who perform in primary, secondary and university, even on labour market. Opening a book is opening a good future.”
Having books written and published in Rwanda is a good opportunity and grant to Mineduc to use them in soft format without copyright barriers, Dr Mutimura has explained.
The US Ambassador to Rwanda, Peter Vrooman, has called upon teachers and parents to help students benefit from the books.
“Having books is not enough, children must read them and it’s our responsibility all. Teachers must make sure books aren’t kept in storerooms. They must be given to students so that they take them home and use them after school and in the weekend. By opening these books, they will be opening their better future”, he noted.
“Every child has his own textbook to read everyday. They use them to revise and discover the following lesson.” Alphonsine Nyirandege, a P1 teacher at GS Congo-Nil, said.
Soma Umenye is a partnership between USAID and REB targeting every public and government-aided primary school in Rwanda with the goal of improving the reading performance of at least one million students. It works with 93 schools in Rutsiro District. It has distributed 43 395 Kinyarwanda textbooks in 45 171 students of P1-P3. 124 school leaders trained on effective ways to monitor Kinyarwanda teaching whereas 478 Kinyarwanda teachers trained on teaching in this district.22