Rwanda: Education Ministry Tasked to Promote Kinyarwanda in Schools

Senators have urged the Ministry of Education to allocate more hours for Kinyarwanda lessons in schools to help preserve and promote the language.

This happened early this week during a presentation of Government activities in basic education under the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) to both Chambers of Parliament.

Among issues tabled, was that Kinyarwanda language could go extinct.

Senator Emmanuel Havugimana called for more efforts in speaking Kinyarwanda accurately, condemning those who speak and write the language incorrectly.

“I hear a lot of people speaking Kinyarwanda in a wrong way and those are educated people that should be giving Kinyarwanda value, and should be influencing people to speak Kinyarwanda perfectly with no errors. The Ministry of Education should look into this and ensure that children learn Kinyarwanda too,” he said.

Jean-Baptiste Manirakiza, director of the Language Centre at Kigali Independent University, recommended Kinyarwanda to be taught not only in primary and secondary schools, but also in universities.

“Factors that contribute to the growth of the language are many, for example, many people have a mind-set of believing that speaking Kinyarwanda is very cheap and uncivilised. If the mind-set is changed, that can grow our language and give it value,” he said.

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said there is a need to balance all languages in schools, explaining that children can continue learning in English as it is an international language in education, but also that Kinyarwanda should be taught in schools a lot and perfectly.