Over 4,000 teachers to get tech-enabled teaching skills

As part of efforts to improve the quality of education, 4,500 head teachers and teachers from 150 public primary schools will be trained on technology-enabled teaching and effective class management.

The one-month teacher training from August 23 to September 23, 2022 will focus on new teaching techniques, methodology and classroom management to help improve learning outcomes.

The training enables Rwanda’s teachers to use teacher guides, ensuring that all Rwanda Education Quality Improvement Programme (RwandaEQUIP) pupils are receiving world class lessons built around the Rwandan curriculum.

RwandaEQUIP is a nationwide programme in government-aided primary schools designed to improve teaching and learning with the aim to make the country’s basic education system globally competitive.

The initiative which is in its second year, targets to empower teachers in at least 761 government and government aided schools by 2024.

Trainees first day in class

The technology will improve performance and school monitoring by empowering teachers with the needed skills and resources to achieve a goal for quality education for all.

Through the programme, the Government is optimizing technology and real-time data to track and support teachers’ performance in the classroom to improve learning.

Using technology, the Government can access digital insights on exactly what is happening in every single classroom including lesson delivery, attendance and learning outcomes in near real time.

According to Jules Ntabwoba, the Director of Policy and Partnerships at RwandaEQUIP, school leaders and teachers will be trained on how to use technology such as teacher tablets along with interactive classroom management techniques that are pupil-centered.

This, he said, will maximize pupil engagement and allow them to learn, grow and discover their full potential.

“The teachers will learn how to effectively use teacher tablets that contain thoroughly researched and carefully designed daily lesson guides,” said explaining that the tablets help teachers overcome challenges that they encounter while designing their lesson plans and deliver lessons in a coherent and easy-to-understand format.

Teachers modeling how they will deliver lessons back in their schools using effective techniques they have learned.

The teachers will also learn teaching techniques like setting learning goals for the lesson or unit; checking on each and every child’s learning; responding with feedback that accelerates student learning outcomes; and motivating students towards good behavior and academic effort.

Uwimana Vestine, from Rushaki Primary school in Gicumbi district, has been a teacher for the past 26years.

She highlighted that the profession is demanding and her major challenge is lack of enough time to prepare lesson plans, notes, assessments, quizzes and teach at the same time.

“This affects one’s ability to engage with pupils and provide quality instruction. We therefore expect that this new methodology will address these challenges,” she said.

According to Gerard Murasira, the director of teacher training at Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB), quality education can be achieved if school leaders and teachers are trained and supported.

“We are scaling up quality instruction using a new methodology that uses technology and increases learner engagement,” he said.

The previous training was conducted in January 2022 for 3000 teachers in 100 schools.

“In the first 100 schools where this methodology is being implemented since February 2022, with continuous support, he said teachers have increased their productivity and efficiency as instructors.

We are now scaling up to 150 new schools, where they will use this methodology in the next academic year,” he said.

Education summit in New York

The teacher training is happening at a time when Governments are currently seeking evidence-based solutions that will boost learning to recover from unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic-related learning losses due to school closures.

At the recently concluded- CHOGM hosted by Rwanda heads of states reaffirmed the role of governments in further strengthening education systems to ensure accessible, affordable, high quality and inclusive education for all.

In mid-September, government leaders across the world will also be meeting at the United Nations Transforming Education Summit in New York, to stock up on efforts to recover pandemic-related learning losses, focus on solutions that work at scale and present a national statement of commitment to transform education.

The holistic and highly structured education methodology that the teachers are being trained on through RwandaEQUIP has been endorsed by a Nobel prize winning economist Prof. Michael Kremer, as an effective education intervention that dramatically transforms learning outcomes at speed and at scale in Africa and Asia.

The study, conducted in East African schools suggests that children receive 53 percent more learning over the course of their primary school career compared to their peers taught using traditional methods.

The study finds that after two years, primary school pupils, through Grade 6, are nearly a whole additional year ahead of pupils taught using traditional methods.

For early childhood development (ECD) – typically 3 and 5 year olds – pupils gain nearly an additional year and half of learning; learning in two years what pupils in other schools learn in three and a half years.

The target is that all Rwandan students are equipped with the right skills to compete globally by 2035.