While Rwanda has almost achieved universal primary education in terms of access, it is important to ensure pupils are not only attending school, but learning when they are in the classroom. When teachers are empowered with the needed skills and resources, Rwanda can achieve its goal for quality education for all.
To achieve this, teachers need more support on improving performance and school monitoring. Through RwandaEQUIP, 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.
Quality education can be achieved if school leaders and teachers are trained and supported. Speaking at the opening of the training; Gerard Murasira, the Director of Teacher Training Unit at Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB) said that quality instruction is being scaled up using a new methodology that uses technology and increases learner engagement.
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,” noted Murasira.
According to Jules Ntabwoba, the Director of Policy and Partnerships at RwandaEQUIP, school leaders and teachers will be trained, during the teacher induction training, on how to use technology (teacher tablets) along with interactive classroom management techniques that are pupil-centered, maximize pupil engagement and allow them to learn, grow and discover their full potential.
"Teachers will learn how to effectively use teacher tablets that contain thoroughly researched and carefully designed daily lesson guides,” he revealed highlighting that the tablets help teachers to overcome challenges that they encounter designing their lesson plans and to deliver lessons in a coherent and easy-to-understand format.
Additionally, teachers will 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.
Vestine Uwimana from Ecole Rushaki Primary school in Gicumbi district, has been a teacher for the past 26 years. She highlighted that the profession is demanding and her major challenge is the 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.
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 be meeting at the United Nations Transforming Education Summit in New York, to stock of 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% 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 teacher induction training is facilitated by Rwanda Basic Education Board through the Government of Rwanda initiative - Rwanda Education Quality Improvement Programme (RwandaEQUIP). RwandaEQUIP is a nationwide programme in public primary schools designed to improve teaching and learning.
RwandaEQUIP is being implemented by NewGlobe on behalf of the Government of Rwanda. RwandaEQUIP is in its second year and has been rolled out to 250 schools.
The Government targets to empower teachers in at least 761 government and government aided schools by 2024.
The teacher induction training is proof that the Government of Rwanda is committed to improving the quality of teaching and learning. It is taking place at a very opportune moment after Rwanda hosted CHOGM where heads of states reaffirmed the role of governments in further strengthening education systems to ensure accessible, affordable, high quality and inclusive education for all.