Senior mentors undergo training on instructional materials

There is a countrywide training for senior mentors on how to use new world class print and audio instructional materials in primary schools.
Teachers attending a training in Bugesera. Education Times/ Susan Babijja
Teachers attending a training in Bugesera. Education Times/ Susan Babijja

There is a countrywide training for senior mentors on how to use new world class print and audio instructional materials in primary schools.

The training is part of the Rwanda Education Board (REB)’s School-based Mentoring Program where the senior mentors will train mentors at the school level who in turn will provide support directly to head teachers, directors of studies, and teachers.

The training started last week on Monday and was facilitated by the USAID-funded Literacy, Language and Learning (L3) Initiative.   

The instructional materials were developed by REB and L3 to supplement and enhance the existing curriculum and to support P1 and P2 English, Kinyarwanda, and mathematics instruction.

Dr. Joyce Musabe, head of REB’s curriculum department said, the materials are sensitive to the Rwandan context and aim to foster a lifelong love of reading and learning.

“These materials are based on the latest research on how children learn, and they emphasise key reading skills in Kinyarwanda, such as awareness of the individual sounds in words and the ability to match sounds to letters,” she said.

The materials include teacher’s guides, student readers, and stories for teachers to read aloud, interactive audio programs, which are broadcasted in classrooms using simple Nokia phones and portable speakers, and will guide teachers and students through lively, interactive, and effective lessons.      

The mathematics materials ensure that children gain problem solving and critical thinking skills. English audio programs provide both teachers and students with models of clear pronunciation from fluent speakers of the language and emphasize the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  

“The learners will be able to pick some interest in English, especially with the speaking skills,” said Nyaga Monica, a senior mentor in Nyabihu district.

After being piloted in 90 schools this year, the materials will be in use in all public and government-aided schools beginning in January 2014.  

Mentors will play a key role in the implementation. Each of the sixty senior mentors will oversee and train about 16 school-based mentors.

Funded by USAID, the L3 Initiative is implemented by Education Development Center (EDC) in partnership with REB and the College of Education of the University of Rwanda with assistance from Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), Concern Worldwide, International Education Exchange, and the Peace Corps. 

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