The Ministry of Education, on Monday, September 11 launched a month-long campaign for National Literacy, with the primary goal of fostering a culture of reading and writing among Rwandans. The government also wants to increase the literacy rate from 83.1 percent to 84.5 percent by 2024.
This initiative seeks to enhance literacy within schools and communities and was formally initiated at the Rugerero IDP model village in the Rubavu district.
The event, held under the theme ‘Promoting literacy for all to enhance foundational learning,’ coincided with the celebration of International Literacy Day.
The annual National Literacy Month, which originated in 2012, is coordinated every September by the Ministry of Education in partnership with Soma Rwanda, also known as the Rwanda Reads Initiative. Together, they aim to support, facilitate, and promote initiatives to cultivate literate citizens in Rwanda.
Addressing the gathering, Rose Baguma, the Director General of Education Policy and Analysis at the Ministry of Education, emphasized that the campaign’s primary objective is to encourage Rwandans to embrace a culture of reading and writing, aligning with the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1).
“We consistently encourage parents to dedicate at least five minutes to reading with their children, as this is crucial for their own ability to read,” she said.
Belle Fille Munganyiki, a mother of three from the Rugerero sector, is one of the local residents who anticipates enhancing her English and reading skills through the campaign and the newly established library in their model village.
“I am enthusiastic about improving my language skills and acquiring new knowledge to inspire my children, nurturing them with a passion for reading,” she expressed.
Despite the government’s persistent efforts to promote a culture of reading and writing, there remain challenges, particularly in rural areas, concerning access to digital learning resources.
Isaie Micomyiza, the Country Manager for Ubongo and a member of Soma Rwanda, revealed that there is still a lack of adequate infrastructure, including Internet connectivity, digital devices, and learning centers, especially in remote areas.
Micomyiza suggested that every educational institution, particularly those catering to children should incorporate fun learning into their teaching methods, such as using cartoons, as an effective way to motivate children to find joy in learning once digital platforms are more readily available or digital challenges are addressed.
Throughout this campaign, numerous activities will be undertaken, including the distribution of learning materials, media talk shows, and webinars on literacy spaces, all aimed at promoting a reading culture.