Over 2700 children of Congolese refugees currently sheltered at Kigeme Camp are set to begin school next year.
According to officials, over 2700 young boys and girls have already been registered and are pursuing English and Kinyarwanda lessons in the meantime as a way of acquainting them with the Rwandan education system ahead of the academic year.
Currently, activities to build classrooms are underway in areas located near the camp. At least 62 classrooms will be constructed.
Last week, the Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs Marcel Gatsinzi, the UNHCR country representative Neimah Warsame, local leaders and different partners visited the settlement to assess the current state of activities.
The construction of classrooms and other activities are spearheaded by UNHCR in closer cooperation with other UN agencies and NGOs operating in the camp.
“We are moving in the right direction as we prepare for the first intake of students,” Warsame said; as she disclosed that the construction is set to be complete by the end of November.
“Meanwhile, we have started the orientation of pupils as we prepare for the school opening,” Warsame said.
Official statistics indicate that there are about 5,600 children aged between 5 and 17 years, in the camp.
The school targets at least 4500 children and currently 61 teachers have been recruited ahead of the school’s opening next year, officials said.
Gatsinzi said education is one of the basic necessities for a child. He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensuring that children are educated.
Over 14000 Congolese nationals who fled fighting that broke out mid this year between soldiers loyal to the Kinshasa government and M23 rebels are living at the recently established settlement.
By Jean Pierre Bucyensenge