Musabyimana on why teachers have a role to play in closing the innovation gap in schools

Students look at the prototype as the propellers rotate. Courtesy photos.

Corneille Musabyimana noticed a hunch with the current teaching culture. He observed that a number of instructors disregard the use of illustrations yet they are very important when it comes to teaching science subjects.

Musabyimana is a physics teacher with over 10 years of experience. As a graduate in Pure Physics from the University of Rwanda, he believes that science lessons are complex but even more complicated when they lack illustration.


It is in this light that the 39-year-old constructed a plane prototype for his students at Ecole Mere du verbe in Kibeho, Southern province.


The prototype was made out of boxes, with propellers on top and a wingspan. The plane also has different components like electric circuits that enable it to fly in space to a low altitude. It also possesses illustrations that can be used for different academic levels that is, from senior three to senior six.


The prototype was made out of boxes, with propellers on top and a wingspan.

It is also built in a way that can be used to facilitate more than one subject, for example he uses it to illustrate electromagnetic induction, house electric installation, basic alternating current circuits, Kirchhoff’s laws and electric circuits, energy degradation and power degradation, complex electrical circuits, climate change and greenhouse effect from senior three to senior six respectively.

The idea to construct this plane was for his students to not only easily understand the concepts from the lesson but to also have the capacity to put them into practice.  

“It turned out that my students understood more what I was teaching them, and I think I was satisfied by the results of this creativity because my aim was to ensure that students understand the concept fully,” he says.

Why teachers have a  role to play in innovation 

In most cases students are the ones who are pin pointed out in regards to embracing innovation. Teachers are hardly mentioned in this regard. And even though this is the case, teachers ought to bridge this gap especially with subjects where students need practical sessions to grasp the concept.

He says teachers should find satisfaction when their students are able to put what they learn into practice.

Musabyimana points out that some teachers are reluctant to embrace this culture of innovation (more so with illustrations) because they think that it is a wastage of time. 

However, he believes that a teacher should find satisfaction when their students are able to put what they learn into practice. 

“As teachers we can’t stay with our students for the whole day, but one thing I have learnt from being innovative and being creative in this career is that students are always inspired to try this even outside the classroom. And with this you are sure that they spend most of their free time trying to be better and formulate something that looks like what the teacher made,” he says.

From personal experience, he says science needs more than theoretical teachings. And this he believes should not be left only to students but also educationists.

Needless to mention, there is still inadequate resources in the sector, and to some teachers this is a stumbling block.

Musabyimana believes that such innovations can inspire students.

This however, Musabyimana says shouldn’t be a huge obstacle noting that he personally used the cheapest raw materials such as bottle tops, manila papers, wires, rulers, wooden sticks among others.

His example has inspired his students to be creative as well. “So far, I have personally seen a huge impact, some students have gone on to construct quite similar prototypes which I can tell to see the level to which they understand a particular concept.

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