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Friday, July 27, 2012

REC joined efforts with other players in Education to launch a culture of reading among Rwandans

An official from Rwanda Education Board
visiting REC booth at Rwanda reads launch
Rwanda Education Commons (REC) among many other actors in the education sector participated in the launch of Rwanda Reads at Kigali Institute of Education (KIE). Rwanda Reads is an initiative of the Ministry of Education aimed to promoting the reading culture in the Rwandan society.

“We are happy to join efforts with other partners in education to ensure that reading becomes a culture among Rwandans, its one way of improving the quality of education which is our cause as REC,” said Bikino Ildephonse, Deputy Coordinator of Rwanda Education Commons .

Most players in the education sector believe that the Ministry of Education has done a lot to improve access to education, but claim there is still a lot to be done to improve the quality.

Rwanda Education Commons also distributed story books and other literature to all Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) to promote the culture of reading. “In TTCs, that’s where future educators are groomed and trained, we therefore want the reading culture to take root before they graduate into professional teachers,” said Raymond Mwesigye, an education specialist.

Rwanda Reads Initiative will be a platform to cater for the public’s reading needs. Through this platform, reading materials and tutorials for all age groups will be made available countrywide.

The book to student ratio in schools was recorded at a creditable 1:1, although according to the Education ministry, 30 per cent of the population is illiterate though strong measures are being applied to reduce the figure to at least 15 per cent.

Rwanda Minister of Education awards books to children
who participated in the launch of Rwanda Reads initiative
The guest of honor at the launch was the Minister of Education, Dr. Vincent Biruta who emphasized the benefits of a reading culture.  “A good reading culture is the foundation of children’s early development and is paramount as a person’s intellectual exercise. Parents and teachers have a crucial role in helping children and students to understand and love reading so that they can have the capacity to help their community and country,” said Minister Biruta.

He added that Rwanda Reads Initiative will increase the availability of reading materials through support to local and regional publishers as well as facilitate traditional and mobile libraries in schools and communities.

The Minister also awarded books to teachers and students present as well as selected guests.

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