International schools in Rwanda have created Rwanda International Schools Forum (RISFO) to enable them work together in ensuring quality education in Rwanda and, potentially, other parts of Africa.
“We believe in cooperation and RISFO will serve as a forum where all international schools in Rwanda will get together to organize and participate in joint events e.g. debate competitions, inter-school sports and academic events, teacher training programs among others,” said Isa Gokturk Yilmaz, principal of Hope Academy Rwanda, a RISFO member school, and interim office vice president. “Our first goal is to officially register it by involving as many schools as possible in this process so everyone has ownership.”
In a broader sense, RISFO is aimed at enhancing local educators’ skills with academic disciplines such as curriculum development, teacher training, career goals, support material development, athletic programs, talent development and other related pedagogical matters. The forum intends to address these matters by creating activities that will engage international schools, finding varied opportunities for learners, organizing academic and athletic competitions and empowering teachers through workshops – amongst other methodologies. In addition, the forum also provides a platform in which teachers and school managers can compare notes on common areas for better delivery of service to learners.
RISFO has already been keeping a busy schedule with several important events in recent months to help bring its goals to fruition. Recently, the forum conducted its first Cambridge training for teachers which was the first face-to-face training of its kind. The four-day training was held at Riviera High School in July of 2016. It was divided into two segments; two days for primary school teachers and two days for secondary school teachers. The turnout was high, nearly 120 teachers, and the mood was pleasant, according to RISFO officers in attendance.
Thus far, there have been two successful general assembly meetings of member school administrators: one taking place at Mother Mary School Complex and another at Hope Academy Rwanda. The meetings are an opportunity to undertake a variety of matters including, but not limited to: registration of member schools, calendar events for 2017 and drafting statutes.
The future looks bright for RISFO - judging by the cooperation of the stakeholders so far. It is gratifying to note that the registration documents have been prepared, pro bono, by an individual who has made great contribution to education in Rwanda. The forum will provide a platform for tapping such goodwill for the benefit of the children of this nation. Member schools agree that we can look forward to a future where a child who opts for the international curriculum is exposed to as many opportunities as possible, as a result.
Interim Office: The interim office comprises of:
i) Mr. Boniface Onyango (Principal – Riviera High School) - President
ii) Mr. Isa Yilmaz (Principal – Hope Academy Rwanda) - Vice President
iii) Ms. Diana Nawatti (Principal - Mother Mary) - Secretary
iv) Mr. Magadi Bora (Cambridge coordinator- Nu Vision) - Member
v) Mr. Geoffrey Mutabazi (Headmaster – Little Bears Montessori) - Member
RISFO is a non-governmental organization with headquarters in Kibagabaga, Kimironko sector within the Gasabo district of Kigali.