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The Failure of Living-Together in Rwanda: What is the Responsibility of History Textbooks?
Place of publication | Year of publication | Collation: 
Québec | 2013 | p. 131–153
ISSN 1916-0666 (numérique)
Éric Mutabazi
Corporate author: 
McGill Journal of Education

Rwanda, landlocked in the Great Lakes region in Central Africa, has known war and massacres resulting in the 1994 genocide. Many critics and researchers have attempted to explain the reasons behind the inhuman and monstrous massacres that ravaged this country. While political, historical and economical factors are more often invoked to justify these horrible events, this article seeks to draw attention to the responsibility of history textbooks in the failure of living-together in pre-genocide Rwanda. Our analysis of textbook content reveals that certain values transmitted through the teaching of Rwanda’s history has generated injustice, inequality, victimisation, suffering, etc., at school and in society. We attempt to demonstrate how textbook content contributed to the failure of living-together in Rwanda and we propose alternative perspectives to guide the development of content that can contribute to peace, unity and living-together in post-genocide Rwanda.

Peace / Culture of peace
Preventing violent extremism
Level of education: 
Primary education
Secondary education


Genocide; Textbooks
Génocide; Manuels scolaires