UK’s Conservative Party to Send Hundreds of Teachers to Rwanda

(l) Sally Waples, Head of Department for International Development (DfID) and William Gelling the British High Commissioner to Rwanda

Hundreds of volunteers and mentors from the United Kingdom will arrive in Rwanda in August to help local teachers improve their command of English language.

Since 2007, UK’s conservative party and Rwanda established a partnership ‘Umubano Project’ that focuses on political benefits between the two countries.

“This project has helped the UK parliament to see what development it can achieve on ground, and this has had an impact on their aid, which then benefits all of the countries that we provide with development assistance,” said Sally Waples, Head of Department for International Development (DfID) in Rwanda.

The British High Commissioner to Rwanda, William Gelling, said that more is needed as the project seeks to widen direct impact on lives of many Rwandans.

Umubano projects also include social activities; construction of health centres, establishment of Umubano schools with funding from conservative volunteers, and training of 250 youth in business and financial literacy, among others.

“It is true that the impact on lives of people has been small, but this year a large number of English trainers will be coming to help the ministry of education to improve teacher’s English standards,” Gelling told KTPress recently.

Rwanda has made significant improvements to its educational system, shifting from French to English language especially in the education sector with help from the British Council and other organisations.

“This will be an opportunity for teachers who have at times been compelled to study outside Rwanda in order to come and teach effectively,” said Fred Masengesho, a former professor at Umutara polytechnic.

Waples said that the project initiative has enabled the UK parliament to understand the importance of increasing its support to African countries.

UK parliament is very supportive of development aid and has a target of spending more than 7 percent of gross national income (GNI) and development systems.

A report by Supporting Teachers’ English through Mentoring (STEM)- a project aimed to improve the English language level of teachers shows that 86% of teachers improved their performance on their pre and post-intervention Classroom English Test.

Project Umubano was established in 2007 by the joint efforts of the late Christopher Shale, former British Prime Minister David Cameron and Andrew Mitchell, former Secretary of State for DFID.

It has operations alongside partners in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and in Burundi.