Teaching Assistantship Project: An opportune mission to attract girls into sciences

The move is aimed at inspiring more girls to join the science field as well as help improve quality of education. / Michel Nkurunziza

Girls who complete high school with excellent grades in sciences can now access skills training in the teaching profession and are also given slots as teaching assistants.

The move is aimed at inspiring more girls into the science field as well as help improve quality of education.

This new development is part of the project dubbed “Teaching Assistantship Project (TAP)” that is being implemented jointly by Inspire Empower and Educate (IEE), Mastercard Foundation, Rwanda Education Board and various schools.

So far 150 girls have been deployed to 73 high schools. The goal is to equip them with professional teaching skills and then later serve as assistant teachers in ordinary level.

Emmanuel Murenzi, IEE Country Director says that the pilot project will be implemented in a period of one year adding that the project will also distribute science chemicals and equipment to use in teaching in schools where they have been deployed in 15 districts of Musanze, Gakenke, Rulindo, Rusizi, Burera, Karongi, Muhanga, Ruhango, Nyagatare, Gatsibo, Kayonza, Kicukiro, Nyarugenge, Gasabo and Bugesera.

He says that the girls were beneficiaries of Mastercard foundation scholarships and that they want them to inspire other girls to study sciences but also embrace teaching profession. 

“Since they are excellent in sciences, they could also improve quality of education once they embrace teaching profession,” he explains.

Emmanuel Murenzi, IEE Country Director said that  the pilot project will be implemented in a period of one year. / Michel Nkurunziza

Murenzi explains that with the project, they want to change the narrative by showing that girls too can do sciences.

With this, he says they plan to work with National Itorero Commission so that the project becomes one of the activities to be incorporated in National Civic Training Programme so that high school graduates are deployed to contribute to the teaching profession especially in the science field.

A timely move

Swaleh Mayanja, the Deputy Head Teacher at GS Murambi in Rulindo district said the deployed girls are contributing a lot and that the deployment has served as an answer to the scarcity of teachers.

He also believes that since many girls still fear doing sciences, this will serve as a step to attract others to pursuing sciences.

Assumpta Marie Kayirangwa, a mentor to the girls explains that she facilitates the girls by helping them prepare lessons and do classroom or lesson observation together.

She notes that the girls are given Rwf 50,000 every month for facilitation in transport.

Some of the girls who are part of this project say they are gaining a lot from the project.

19-year-old Blandine Ineza scored 64 marks out of 73 in Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Groupe Scolaire de Butare in Huye district. She has been deployed to serve as an assistant teacher at GS Kicukiro in Kigali.

She is assisting in teaching biology in senior one and says she has learnt a lot about the teaching profession.

“I have realised that being a teacher doesn’t only apply in class but also in all circumstances. I have gained skills in class management since students have different characters. I have learnt lesson preparations as well,” she says.

Liza Ishimwe is an assistant teacher at Saint Famille in Kigali.

She says she currently perceives teaching as a profession of value because it helps to share skills that contribute a lot to the society.

“I will encourage other students to join the teaching career,” she says.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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