Never again. Educational reconstruction in Rwanda
by Anna Obura


Strong political leadership is decisive in turning a country's education system around. Anna Obura's study traces the remarkable efforts in Rwanda to reconstruct the national education system after the 1994 genocide, and to right the wrongs of long decades of discrimination, exclusion and divisiveness practised in schools. A unique feature of Rwanda's experience is the harnessing of historical research to guide educational policy, and to help understand the causes and the nature of the genocide so as to deliberately avoid re-occurrence.

The children of Rwanda say they are relived and happy to be home. They are working in an informal and comfortable partnership with their teachers to make school a better place. The only shortfall is the continuing challenge to provide accessible, relevant education for the poorest, particularly for child-headed households, that is, for the last 25 per cent of primary school-age children still out of school.

This book focuses on the inputs of the Ministry of Education and other local organizations, such as the church, in the reconstruction process, features which are often neglected in international reports of rehabilitation. The result is a fascinating analysis of the mosaic of planned and unplanned events. The author concludes that the translation of curriculum messages into new and immediate institutional arrangements in schools - into a hidden curriculum - has proved to be more significant than the more overt and slow-moving changes to the syllabuses.

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