For most children in Rwanda its time to get up at
the crack of dawn to undertake chores including taking the chickens from the
house and putting them in their mud enclosures and boiling water on an open fire
ready for the first meal of the day, with breakfast often consisting of
sweet potatoes and sorghum, corn and millet and milk porridge.
Then its off to school, which can often be some
The school day is often marked by singing the Rwandan National
anthem, "Rwanda Nziza" ("Beautiful Rwanda") followed by prayers in a
country that is over 80% Christian with a much smaller Muslim population (4.6%).
(Roman Catholic missionaries established themselves in Rwanda in the late 1880s
and taught that Tutsi were a superior race ~ not least because they were easier
to convert to Christianity ~ and this contributed to the seething ethnic tensions
over the generations)
Whilst most children are eager to attend school in
Rwanda, many schools are under resourced with no running water nor electricity,
although the government is attempting to get those schools too far from the
national grid installed with solar panels to get over some of these
difficulties. Government spending on education is quite high, currently at
12.25% of all expenditure, but some idea of the resource shortfall can be
ascertained by the fact that in a country with a child population of some 4,757,000,
there are just 1,197 school library books.
There are 2172 primary schools in Rwanda catering
for 1,636,563 pupils who are taught in English or French (after starting their
education in Kinyarwanda). After primary school education is no longer
compulsory for the 179,153 pupils who go on to attend Rwanda's 405 secondary
schools where the number of qualified teachers drops from over 80% to under 50%.
Illiteracy remains stubbornly high at around 50% of the over 15yrs population.
These videos provide further insight into life in Rwanda for