In December 2022, I visited the Republic of Rwanda as part of the Global Teacher Training Program at Naruto University of Education. It was my long-cherished dream to visit Africa, and the about 48-hour trip from Japan seemed short for me.
Rwanda is also known as the “Switzerland of Africa.” There is plenty of fresh water and lush greenery. The red color of the soil and roofs adds to the beauty of the landscape. Rwanda is bordered by four countries, and I saw a lot of traffic and people. The country as a whole is full of vitality.
During our stay, we visited two schools in the Kayonza area and conducted workshops on Japanese culture as well as assisting in research. I applied for this program with the aim of directly experiencing school and education in Rwanda, but unfortunately, we were not able to see the daily life of the schools because they were on vacation. Rwanda’s living language is Rwandan, but English is used in school education. The students are good at English and were enthusiastic about their activities with English. I am happy if they become interested in Japan through the activities.
Also, we visited Akagera National Park and some facilities related to the 1994 genocide. There, I learned the value of nature and peace. This experience will be useful in my future.
Moreover, we also had the opportunity to communicate with local educators, embassy staff, and JICA staff. We could exchange information on education and international cooperation. I felt the possibility of further expanding my own education by combining my future practice with overseas educational practices and international educational cooperation efforts, in addition to my own practice related to Japanese education.
Through this visit, we had an opportunity to reconsider the importance of education and the weight of the responsibilities we carry in education. In order to convey the importance of peace to children, teachers themselves must have knowledge and experience of peace; otherwise, the message from the teachers will be superficial. I feel that the knowledge I gained from this visit to Rwanda is important for me to apply to my own future educational practice. Education is important because it develops people. I reconfirmed that teachers should have correct knowledge and a sense of morality to convey various things to children in the future.

プログラム中は、国立公園であるAkagera National Parkや1994年に起きたジェノサイドに関係する施設にも訪問し、ルワンダについての体験的学ぶことができた。また、現地の教育関係者や大使館職員、JICA職員の方と交流する機会もあり、教育や国際協力についての情報交換をすることで、多くの学びがあった。今後の自らの実践に、日本の教育に関するものに加え、海外の教育実践や国際教育協力の取組を合わせていくとで、自らの教育の幅をさらに広げていくことのできる可能性を感じた。


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