185 laptops, 1,680 tablets and other IT equipment were handed over to the Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB) by The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The move aims to enhance access to equitable quality education for refugee and host community children. The handover ceremony took place on November 23 at GS Paysannat L C, one of the schools hosting 19,057 students including refugees from Mahama camp and those from surrounding communities in Mahama sector, Kirehe District. Speaking at the event, Boubacar Bamba, the UNHCR Rwanda Deputy Representative said that they work closely with the Government of Rwanda through the programme to improve access to inclusive equitable quality education for refugee and host community children through technology that facilitate connected learning in the country. “Education is a priority for the Government, UNHCR and our partners. It’s important that we take good care of the education process because it is a way for people to learn and to be self-reliant later when they achieve their curriculum,” he said. The programme is rolled out in partnership with Profuturo Foundation, a digital education programme created by Telefónica Foundation and ¨la Caixa¨ Foundation to narrow the education gap in the world by improving the quality of education among children living in vulnerable environments. Implemented by UNHCR and its partners; ADRA and World Vision, the programme will equip 15 public refugee-hosting schools with ICT equipment such as laptops, tablets, projectors, routers and other essential accessories necessary for setting up digital education. The schools are located in Kirehe, Gatsibo, Gicumbi, Gisagara, Nyamagabe, and Karongi districts where around 17,952 students who study in grades 4 to 6 are targeted. As part of the programme, UNHCR has also built and furnished 3 ICT rooms – one each at GS Nyabchiwamba in Nyabiheke, Paysannat L-C in Mahama, and at EP Umbano in Kiziba refugee camps. Dr. Christine Niyizamwiyitira, the Head of ICT in Education Department at REB commended the UNHCR for renovating and furnishing smart classrooms and for implementing education technology to enhance learning outcomes. She said that the equipment provided will help students learn ICT better and assist teachers in doing research so that they can provide quality education. I call upon our partners, she continued, to continue to support basic education – focusing more on empowering ICT integration in education towards the 21st-century labour market. The ProFuturo learning platform provides teachers as well as students with innovative educational resources and classroom experiences and offers teachers the necessary tools to be able to improve their teaching practice and incorporate the use of technology in their classroom activities. Saidi Nzabandora, a primary school teacher at Paysannat L-C who uses the platform said that it has eased the learning process because he no longer uses chalkboard plentiful like before, adding that students are now able to follow lessons by using tablets as assisted by the teacher. “Before we could access this platform, teachers used to write on chalkboards and could even draw things weakly which would slow down the teaching process. But today, students can see things they study because the lessons provided on the platform contain pictures,” he said.