REB teacher mentoring programme on trackREB teacher mentoring programme on track

Since last year, the Rwanda Education Board (REB) embarked on an ambitious programme of grooming local staff that is proficient in English, the language of instruction.

Since last year, the Rwanda Education Board (REB) embarked on an ambitious programme of grooming local staff that is proficient in English, the language of instruction.

Currently, every school has access to one regional or local mentor responsible for guiding teachers on how to prepare and teach in English. The process of recruiting an additional 60 senior mentors is at the advanced stage. The senior mentors will oversee the functioning of the school based mentors and respond to their challenges and training needs.

According to Eric Parsloe of the Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring, mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.

Mentorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. However, true mentoring is more than just answering occasional questions or providing ad hoc help. It is about an ongoing relationship of learning, dialogue, and challenge.

The case of REB mentoring program is a kind of enrichment program for teachers who are already qualified to teach but who need to expand their field of knowledge and hone their skills.

A mentor teaches a mentee about a specific issue, coaches the mentee on a particular skill, facilitates the mentee’s growth by sharing resources and networks and challenges the mentee to move beyond his/her comfort zone.

According to the year 2010 study from the National Education Association in the US, nearly 50 percent of teachers leave the profession after only five years of teaching.

The support and professional development that teachers receive in the first two years play a key role in accelerating their effectiveness and improving student learning. It is vital to support them with high-quality, comprehensive mentoring programs, something that REB is steering in the right direction.

From my simple survey on the rate of the professional mobility rates, I can make a hypothetical statement that the rate of professional mobility among teachers is among the highest due to remuneration factors.

The pay slips of teachers still dominate the bottom half of pay grades in several countries in the world. For this reason, the profession is contemptuously viewed and its members treated with disdain by the society in general.

The massive resources that have been dedicated to training and recruitment of teaching staff should not be allowed to go down the drain following en-masse exits of teachers from the profession due to motivation and other related issues.

In the economic sense, cost and benefit effect has to apply. The investment should yield tremendous results for it to be termed viable.

The new teacher mentees should be well nurtured and reasonably retained for them have a corresponding output that can substantiate the hefty investment.


Parenting :My teenage daughter is ‘close’ to her male class teacher on Facebook

Dear Education Times Parenting Expert,
I am a mother of a 16-year- old girl in Secondary school. Recently I discovered that my daughter is a friend with her male class teacher on face book and they often chat.

I feel very uncomfortable with this relationship. I am suspicious of the teacher’s motive. I am confused on what to do? Should I confront this teacher or should I report him to the school authorities. Please help

Ann, Kigali

Dear Ann,

Any parent would be very concerned if they were in your situation. As a parent, to discover that your adolescent daughter relates in such a manner with their male class teachers is disturbing.

While this social media relationship between your daughter and her teacher may be innocent, it’s important to probe further and find out what the two chat about on face book. What kind of chat is your daughter and this man having? There should be a certain distance between teachers and students in order to maintain respect.

A teacher needs to be a role model, mentor, and advice giver – not a ‘friend.’  With the advance in communication technology teachers easily relate privately with pupils on social networks like face book and twitter. This brings into perspective the traditional professional etiquette of student-teacher relationships. Talk to your daughter about your concerns. She needs to confide in you.

From the kind of conversations and messages they exchange, you will be able to know if this man is up to a sinister motive. Once you discover that their conversation is inappropriate, for instance if in the messages he is complementing her and telling her how beautiful she is or suggesting that they meet in a private place. Then immediately contact the school head and report the matter. Also counsel your girl on the dangers of relating with the male class teacher in such a manner. Good luck

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