A new innovative scheme was unveiled Tuesday targeting children at the earliest level of school – in attempt to raise top scientists in the later years of their schooling.
The “building learning foundations” program will provide tools to teachers so they can be able to raise kids that enjoy maths and English. Some 2.5 million children at lower primary level P1, P2 and P3 in all public schools are planned, according to a statement from the Britain’s development agency DFID.
Rwanda adopted English as a language of instruction in 2008. It was also immediately followed by a policy favouring sciences.
But some years down the road, institutions of higher learning have been receiving students with low English language proficiency and less enthusiastic about sciences. Educationists affirm that both are necessary to train competent pool of scientists the country urgently needs.
Resolution 9 from the closed door government retreat held two weeks ago directed concerned institutions to do everything in their power to make English a priority. Primary and secondary schools will be the target areas.
The new UK-Rwanda scheme is “a very welcome and timely intervention”, said Rwanda’s Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Isaac Munyakazi, at the launch in Kigali.
Over a three year period, the Rwf 25billion (£25.3million) scheme also has a specific support for children with special needs. Select officials at local levels will also be trained to be able to monitor the implementation of the scheme.
Speaking at the event, Joanne Lomas the UK High Commissioner in Kigali, said: The new intervention is a “strategic investment to ensure that all Rwandan children have the foundational skills needed to contribute to continued social and economic development”.
Georgine Mukarugira headmistress of Saint Muko Primary School in Nyamasheke district said, “Many Head Teachers like myself have not received training as leaders of learning and therefore are not aware of our roles, (this new program) comes to provide us with the skills and resources to lead on school improvement for learning achievements, and to budget, manage school grants, staff and learners, and maintain effective reporting and data management.”
The Building Learning Foundations Programme is being implemented by a consortium of three British NGOs: Education Development Trust, British Council, and VSO.