Rwanda’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Sports and Culture have launched the National Literacy Month whose activities to embrace literacy will cover all the month of September 2019.
The launch took place at Nyagisenyi Stadium, Nyamagabe District, Southern Province, in a ceremony of celebrating International Literacy Day, Sunday 8th September 2019.
Each week of the National Literacy Month will have a message to spur children and adults to read and write.
“Learn to read in Kinyarwanda, a foundation for lifelong learning”; “Reading connects you to the world”; “Make time to read”; “Reading is for people with and without disabilities” are among main themes that will be discussed during this month.
The State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Munyakazi Isaac, has called upon everyone to play a role in fostering a culture of reading.
He said: “We urge all people, young and adults to be engaged. Every family should have books to read and give children time to discuss and analyse what they have read.”
Particularly, families may return back to the culture of telling stories the children in Kinyarwanda (Imigani n’ibisakuzo).
Not only parents need to read for themselves and their children but also to support talented children in writing while teachers and schools have to develop children’s reading skills. Organisations and government bodies also are asked to develop synergies to strengthen literacy initiatives.
Referring to the theme of ILD this year stating that “Reading and writing in different languages is a source of knowledge”, Rwanda’s Minister of Sports and Culture, Nyirasafari Esperance, said that “reading and writing should be part of our culture as Rwandans. You get knowledge through reading and you share it by writing.”
“Reading and writing are some of the pillars of SDGs as Rwanda wants to build knowledge based economy, that’s why we value literacy. We put much effort in schools but we need it to become a culture in families.” She added.
Uwamahoro Emmanuelia, a resident of Gasaka Sector, Nyamagabe District, in her testimony showed how her young girl at Primary Four, benefitted from parental support in reading exercises.
She said: “I started reading for her when she was in Primary Two as she started participating in ‘Mureke Dusome’ activities where we got textbooks. Now she is in P4, she can read a whole book and summarize what she has read.”
During the launch of National Literacy Week, officials took time to read texts in Kiswahili, French, English and Kinyarwanda to show how important it’s to know different languages.
30 children- one from each district in the country, winners of Andika Rwanda 2019 competition got their awards that include certificates, tablets, school materials, among others.