Turkish lessons attract attention in Rwanda

Some 200 students register for in-person classes at the Yunus Emre Institute in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda

Hundreds of students have signed up as the Turkish state-run Yunus Emre Institute has launched in-person Turkish lessons in Rwanda.

Since opening its offices in Rwanda earlier this year, the institute has been unable to offer in-person classes due to COVID-19 restrictions.

However, the response to its online courses has been very encouraging, with some 150 students taking advantage of the opportunity.

About 200 students have registered for in-person classes which began last week at the University of Rwanda, according to Enes Karacoban, a Turkish teacher working with the institute.

“We offer two courses in our premises located on the university campus of Gikondo in the capital Kigali. One class takes place during the day and the other in the evening,” he told Anadolu Agency.

“About 75% of applicants are university students and the rest are working professionals. They come from different countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Tunisia, Comoros and Burundi.

The Yunus Emre Institute organized an event to launch the courses in Kigali, which was attended by dignitaries including Turkey’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Burcu Cevik.

In her address, the envoy expressed her joy at the number of students eager to learn the Turkish language.

She also announced that the Turkish Maarif Foundation plans to establish a vocational school in Rwanda.

Hassan Mbarushimina, a Rwandan who returned home after studying in Turkey, shared information about the country during a presentation at the event, along with a video showcasing Turkey’s magnificent sights.

Anne Marie Kagwasage, Head of Language Enhancement Department at the University of Rwanda, urged all students to take Turkish lessons seriously to make the most of this opportunity.

Karacoban said it was exciting to see the growing number of people who want to learn the Turkish language and are interested in the culture of the country.

He added that the Yunus Emre Institute also strives to give Rwandans a taste of Turkish culture by organizing activities such as film screenings, talks and food tastings.

Sylvester L. Goldfarb