In 1994, Rwanda erupted into one of the most appalling cases of mass murder the world has witnessed since the Second World War. During this period, the world witnessed egregious crimes against humanity and the death of 800,000 Rwandan men, women and children. However, following the violence that engulfed the country, this violent armed conflict severely impacted the schooling system. The last normal year of schooling was 1990 and schools completely shut down at the beginning of the 1994. Schools were a main target during this Genocide as around 75 percent of teachers were killed or imprisoned.
However, the problem stood that the countries education system was fragmented before the conflict even begun. The education system faced backlash for having discriminatory policies and unequal access to education which began from the colonial period. After the Genocide, this inequitable educational system implemented new forms of discrimination. Although the Hutu access to education was limited in the colonial period, the Tutsi faced difficulties in accessing secondary and higher education in post-colonial republics due to the restricted quotas. But the policy of funding education for genocide survivors systematically favors Tutsi over Hutu. Language also poses a challenge as English was termed as the medium of instruction from 2008 but this was nearly impossible to understand for the French Rwandans or the Rwandans from Democratic Republic of Congo.
Moreover, the post-Genocide regime aced a moratorium on teaching history in Rwanda’s schools along with prioritising the rewriting of history books. In 1995, the new government aimed to rehabilitate certain historical truths that had been sacrificed for the sake of ideological manipulation. This was undoubtedly problematic as it was ridding people of their history and identity. The Rwandan schools do not teach history favouring Tutsi, Hutu or Twa but they simply do not teach history at all as they want everyone to identify themselves as Rwandan rather than belonging to specific segregated groups. But 20 years after the genocide, Rwandans continue to see themselves and each other in these terms. The fragmented and unjust educational system that rwanda has had a debilitating impact on the youth and prevented inclusiveness. Hence, one may wonder, is schooling of different groups impacted differently in conflict zones?