At least 340 teachers trained as school based mentors in English language, education leadership, conflict resolution and ICT under Rwandan Teacher Education Programme (RTEP) graduated last week after completing a three-week training.
This training was conducted by Rwanda Education Board (REB) in partnership with the University of Hartford.
At the function held at Groupe Scholaire St. Aloys at Rwamagana in Eastern Province, the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Isaac Munyakazi stressed the importance of the programme in the country’s education sector and called upon the teachers to play their part in improving education.
“As the ministry, we believe our endeavours to improve the standard of education must go hand in hand with giving the teachers the skills needed which this programme is here to address,” Munyakazi said.
On English proficiency among students, the Minister said “ is one of the ministry’s concerns” adding that “improving standards of education is a process which can’t be realised in only a year but years of consistence of trainings like the ones the they just completed.”
He said there is significant change in English language use since the adoption of English system in schools eight years ago.
Janvier Gasana, the Director General of REB said the board’s primary concern in improving education revolves teachers and asked them to use the available opportunities to improve their livelihood and the education sector as well.
“Two things I ask of you” he said. “To be fully committed to the country’s programmes of raising the standard of education, and the other is to seize the opportunities the government brings to you for acquiring skills for work and better livelihood.”
Rwanda switched to English as a medium of instruction in schools, with among other objectives, raising the standard of education.
In partnership with Rwanda’s Ministry of Education and the Rwanda Education Board, the University of Hartford’s College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions established the Rwandan Teacher Education Programme in 2014.
An initial pilot and testing phase (2014-16) took 40 Rwandan teachers to the University of Hartford for training in pedagogy, leadership, and conflict resolution.
The program now has instructors who have to travel from US to Rwanda biannually to provide continued professional development.
Since 2014, the latest graduation puts the number at 1,536 teachers trained, and according to Munyakazi, the number is expected to double next year.
The main purpose of the training is to increase effectiveness of Rwandan teachers by equipping School Based Mentors with all necessary tools to deliver quality education.