Through the window, I see school kids listening to their teacher attentively. The classroom is full of future entrepreneurs, scientists, politicians, artists, farmers and jacks of all trades.
Time will come when some of these kids will have jobs that don’t exist yet. Others will sell products that haven’t been invented yet. Service providers in the making, whose ideas haven’t been conceived yet, are also in the mix. Welcome to the future.
Today, I am visiting City Infant & Primary School in Rusororo Sector, Gasabo District. I am here to talk to Mrs. Teddy Gacinya, founder and sole proprietor of the said school. On my way to her office, I turn back the hands of time and feel like a fifth grader walking to the principal’s office.
“Education is part of me.” That’s how Mrs. Gacinya introduces herself. The award-winning academician takes pride in nurturing nursery and primary school children — building solid foundations and preparing the next generation for bright career prospects.
As I listen to my host’s story, one of her 280-plus pupils walks in and interrupts our conversation. She excuses herself for a minute in order to cater for the need of the kid. Her genuine motherly affection is in full display. When this is going on, I peep through the window and enjoy the view.
I marvel at the rapidly expanding suburbs of Kabuga, Kanombe and Masaka. From lavish mansions and luxury villas to ultra-modern apartments and affordable units, the ongoing expansion of the city will ultimately lead to the demand for more classrooms.
Madam Gacinya’s journey as a stakeholder in the education sector dates back to 1994. She was involved in the preparation of the new curriculum after the Genocide against the Tutsi. Her valuable contributions didn’t end there. What followed was a deliberate effort to take the kids off the streets and facilitate their return to school.
Initially, Gacinya joined hands with parents to establish the English Medium School. Once her first project got off the ground, she pursued a second one. This time, setting up the City Infant & Primary School.
Founded in 1998, City Infant & Primary School operated from a rented property in Kimironko Sector until the completion of this campus in 2014. Relocating to the outskirts of the city posed new logistical challenges to parents, some of whom opted to transfer their children to other schools within convenient proximities.
Despite a significant drop in enrollment, there is hope. As mentioned earlier, the growth of a greater Kigali area will undoubtedly reverse this trajectory.
The author is a travel enthusiast currently visiting all 30 districts and 416 sectors of Rwanda. Follow his awe-inspiring journey on Twitter @GeoExposure