Working to improve learning outcomes in English and Mathematics for 4.2 million children in Rwanda
International Literacy Day focuses on encouraging children to read at an early age

Every year in September, Rwanda joins the rest of the world to celebrate the International Literacy Day. The day is marked to remind everyone the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.

The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports and Culture launched the National Literacy Month on September 8th 2019 kicking off a series of activities to embrace literacy that runs until 30th September 2019. The launch was held at Nyagisenyi Stadium, Nyamagabe District, Rwanda’s Southern Province.

In attendance was the State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Munyakazi Isaac, Minister for Sports and Culture Nyirasafari Esperance and the USA Ambassodor to Rwanda Peter Vrooman.

Each week of the National Literacy Month has a message to spur children and adults to read and write. The State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Munyakazi Isaac noted that the day is an opportunity for all Rwandans to embrace the culture of reading in order to over come the persisting literacy challenges. “I urge parents to encourage their children to read by giving them the opportunity to join reading clubs, or even reading aloud for them” he said.

State Minister Dr Isaac Munyakazi reads a story for children

The Building Learning Foundations programme (BLF) took part in the activities to mark the day. BLF showcased the English and Mathematics resources that are supporting teachers of P1-P3 as well as resources supporting head teachers to lead their schools better.

(Left to right)-PS Mineduc, BLF Staff, DG REB and State Minister Mineduc look at a BLF video resource for teachers

Referring to the theme of ILD this year stating that “Reading and writing in different languages is a source of knowledge”, Rwanda’s Minister of Sports and Culture, Nyirasafari Esperance said “reading and writing should be part of our culture as Rwandans. You get knowledge through reading and you share it by writing.”

“Reading and writing are some of the pillars of SDGs as Rwanda wants to build knowledge based economy, that’s why we value literacy. We put much effort in schools but we need it to become a culture in families.” She added.

During the launch of National Literacy Week, officials read stories in Kiswahili, French, English and Kinyarwanda to highlight the importance of learning more than one language.

The Building Learning Foundations Programme (BLF) is a programme of the Rwanda Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) and Rwanda Education Board (REB); it is funded by the United Kingdom’s Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as part of its Learning for all Programme in Rwanda.
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