NUR students during a recent public lecture
Students at the National university of Rwanda (NUR) came out and vehemently denounced the education system of divisionism that prevailed in the country before the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
This was during a recent public lecture by the Governor of the Southern Province Alphosne Munyentwari with the theme “Cultural values as key of building the Nation”.
It is documented that during this period, promoting students was based on ethnicity where the Tutsi were discriminated based on their ethnic background and regions where they came from rather than their performance.
In reaction to this, students said that the system was unfair and shameful to those promoting it at the time.
“I think there was no education because a student has to be promoted according to performance and merit not ethnicity or region of origin, it’s a shame to promote students according to which ethnic group or region they belong to,” said Noella Uwimana a student in 3rd year Economics who spoke with disappointment.
According to Cleophas Nshimiyimana a 2nd year student in the faculty of Geography reckoned that the former education system contributed to the country’s poverty.
“This system which favored one part of Rwandans led the country to poverty because there were people who were denied the chance of studying”, said Nshimiyimana
He went on to say that, these people could have contributed in the development of our country as medical doctors, lecturers, engineers, ministers, to mention but a few, but were denied the right to education.
The governor also noted that during the time cultural values were no longer respected in schools. “Our cultural values suppose equity and justice”, said Munyentwari.
He went on to say that before 1994, Tutsi student who scored 70% could retake that class while a Hutu student who scored 40% was promoted.
“Despite ethnic discrimination, this system also favored mainly Hutu students who come from the northern part of Rwanda than others who came from elsewhere in the country.”
Currently in Rwanda students are promoted according to their intellectual performance. It is geared towards promoting equity and education quality which has led to producing quality graduates.