Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has criticized elitist University education, saying there is a lot more needed to shape people beyond formal education.
Rwanda has established Itorero-a civic education program that teaches citizens cultural values and norms as well as engaging them in national service.
Such initiatives, Kagame said, reflects that “You can complete your formal schooling and still not be educated.”
The President was addressing over 350 Rwandan high school graduates and students studying abroad who completed a 3-weeks civic education course at Gabiro School of Infantry in Gatsibo district.
The civic education course is the ninths and was code-named ‘Indangamirwa’. President Kagame’s son, Brian Kagame also attended the course.
The President said Itorero is about education that goes beyond schooling, directing organisers that the next editions should be organized in a much wider way.
“Getting an education does not only mean school, it also means your culture and your behaviour,” Kagame told enthusiastic students.
More military skills for self-defense
Much as Itorero involves classroom sessions and running exercises, Kagame suggested that more military skills should be given to trainees as a way feeding them self-defense tactics especially in growing cases of street shootings in different countries where Rwandan students study.
Rwanda has a big number of Students studying abroad.
In the past two weeks, police shot dead a black man in Baton Rouge, US, sparking massive protests against Police mistreatment of black African-Americans.
That death – and a second police shooting in Minnesota – sparked protests across the US and triggered a revenge attack by a black army veteran who shot dead five officers in the city of Dallas.
Kagame told diaspora students that they need more military skills to be able to deal with such increasing cases of mass shootings.
President Kagame reminded students that it is never too late for them to contribute to their country’s development.
“Let us all leave here with the determination to build our country. Every nation has an identity. Ours is defined by you, your contributions and the name your actions give to our country.
The President added that: “Contributing starts with knowing who and what you want to be and doing it with purpose. There are some who when called to contribute, would rather look for excuses. Do not run away from playing your role.”
Itorero is a historical training academy dating to the 17th century AD and today serves to teach young Rwandans about their country.