Beauty pageants are a tendency that has selected speed in Rwandan society. In addition to the annual Miss Rwanda beauty pageant, the largest event on the social calendar, nearly every weekend there’s a beauty pageant organized. Over the full years, other smaller beauty contests have picked up momentum in schools steadily, secondary schools mostly. Organizers say these events are a platform to empower girls and they’re organized among different schools with an overall winner crowned the beauty queen of high school. However, month Dr Papias Musafiri last, the Minister for Education, put a last end to these pageants, arguing an impact could be experienced by the practice on the quality of education.
The directive required immediate impact and affects schools from nursery to secondary level. Lydia Mitali, the officer in charge of Girl Education at the Ministry of Education, clarifies that the Minister’s decision to ban beauty pageants in high schools is justified, adding that colleges organizing such contests did not seek advice from the Ministry. She records that there surely is nothing successful in subjecting students to beauty contests.
It only distracts them from the primary reason why they may be in school. “We have no record filed on this program basically, so banning pageants was the smart thing to do. As the Ministry of Education, we weren’t consulted the academic institutions are our responsibility yet. Also, the pageants don’t give any productive results even,” Mitali says. “If you look at the campaigns we bring with regards to women’ education or their wellbeing, the Miss High School pageant is nowhere to be seen in terms of contribution,” she provides.
Mitali also shares her concerns as the person in charge of young ladies’ education stating that such would only lead women to taking the wrong paths all in search of facilities as it pertains to sponsoring themselves in other pageants. “I have been wanting to know who sponsors these students and whether they are getting the money from very incorrect sources. It is shocking that they even managed to place the function at Kigali Serena Hotel, a place where even occasions that are sponsored by big companies don’t consider as their first choice for a venue,” she provides.
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And with this, Mitali feels that the decision made was the correct one since it’s not only conserving the quality of education but, the welfare of girls too. Annet Mutamuliza, the Director of King David Academy, thinks that beauty pageants are more of the waste materials of your time. She says that beauty contests were not allowed in her college seeing that these were not even good ethics of her college which is based on Christianity. “Like a Christian school we do not believe beauty pageants are consistent with our foundation beliefs.
We mainly promote skills like public speaking and command and every other skills basing on what we show our students of which fashion and design are not included, she points out “. The director argues that motivating their students to go for competitions like debating competitions is what’s important given that they want them to get more important skills in life, like learning how to communicate better in public.