Why Beauty Pageants Were Banned In Schools
Beauty pageants are a pattern that has picked pace in Rwandan society. Apart from the annual Miss Rwanda beauty pageant, the biggest event on the social calendar, nearly every weekend there’s a beauty pageant organised. Over the full years, other smaller beauty contests have picked momentum in schools steadily, secondary schools mostly. Organisers say these events are a platform to empower girls and they’re organised amongst different schools with a standard winner crowned the wonder queen of high school. However, month Dr Papias Musafiri last, the Minister for Education, put an final end to these pageants, arguing that the practice could impact the quality of education.
The directive took immediate impact and affects institutions from nursery to secondary level. Lydia Mitali, the official responsible for Girl Education at the Ministry of Education, points out that the Minister’s decision to ban beauty pageants in high universities is justified, adding that colleges organising such contests didn’t seek advice from the Ministry. She records that there is nothing productive in subjecting students to beauty contests.
It only distracts them from the principal reason why they are in school. “We have no document filed with this programme fundamentally, so banning pageants was the wise thing to do. As the Ministry of Education, we weren’t consulted the colleges are our responsibility. Also, the pageants don’t give any productive results even,” Mitali says. “In the event that you go through the campaigns we bring in relation to young ladies’ 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 women’ education stating that such would only lead ladies to taking the wrong paths all searching for facilities when it comes to sponsoring themselves in other pageants. “I have already been wanting to know who sponsors these students and whether they are getting the money from very wrong sources. It really is shocking that they even were able to place the function at Kigali Serena Hotel, a location where even events that are sponsored by big companies don’t consider as their first choice for a venue,” she adds.
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And with this, Mitali feels that the decision made was the correct one since it’s not only saving the grade of education but, the welfare of the girls too. Annet Mutamuliza, the Director of King David Academy, feels that beauty pageants are more of a waste of your time. She says that beauty contests weren’t allowed in her college seeing that they were not even based on the ethics of her college which derive from Christianity. “Like a Christian college we do not believe beauty pageants are in line with our foundation beliefs.
We mainly promote talents like presenting and public speaking and leadership and any other skills basing on what we show our students which fashion and design is not included,” she points out. The director argues that motivating their students to look for competitions like debating competitions is what is important given that they want them to get more important skills in life, like learning how to communicate better in public areas.