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EdTech Monday: One Laptop Per Teacher Program Gains Momentum

by Williams Buningwire
1:53 pm

Beneficiaries of One Laptop per teacher

The Ministry of Education says 11,000 laptops have been distributed to public primary and secondary teachers under the “One Laptop per Teacher” initiative that started in April 2021.

According to the Ministry of Education, the national distribution has reached 11,000 compared to 88,000 primary and secondary school teachers that want them.

The announced figures represent 12.5% of the national target.

“Laptops will help to reach the quality and equity of education services; we are very thankful to our partners for their great contribution,” Twagirayezu said.

He pointed out that without any doubt, technology is fundamental in developing quality and equity education across the country.

He made the observation about national laptop distribution for teachers during the EdTech Monday Rwanda program at KT Radio on 2 August 2021.

EdTech Monday Rwanda is a Mastercard Foundation and ICT Chamber initiative that aims to spark the EdTech Ecosystem in Rwanda.

The initiative brings together EdTech stakeholders, including the EdTech entrepreneurs, Education, and technology policymakers, and EdTech consumers to discuss how to tap into the power of technology to increase learning outcomes.

On this EdTech Monday, KT Radio hosted Gaspard Twagirayezu, State Minister in Charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Nelson Mbarushimana, the Rwanda’s Basic Education Board (REB) Director-General,  Stephen Nuwagaba, a teacher at King David, to discuss possible solutions for existing challenges that are affecting Technology in learning.

The  officials said that national distribution of the ‘One Laptop per Teacher initiative’ aims at strengthening the relevance of education through Information Communication Technology (ICT) integration in teaching and learning as stipulated in ICT in Education policy.

According to REB, upon receiving the laptop, a teacher signs an agreement to take care of the tool.

“We have a department that supervises these assets which are supposed to be used exclusively for teaching and training purposes to promote ICT in education,” Mbarushimana said.

Despite the intensified efforts by the government to use technology in education, teachers say there is a great need for computer literacy training for them to catch up with the new system−E-learning.

“Using technology while teaching needs many things, but the most important thing is having basic computer skills at your fingertips. Teachers cannot effectively use computers to deliver crutial courses,” Nuwagaba said.

Teacher Training On Focus

In other topics that were covered, Education officials said that besides the formal certification from Teacher Training College (TTCs), or the University of Rwanda-College of Education, teachers will continue to learn additional skills in the established program dubbed Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

The CPD program was established to give techers a series of training  online teaching, Computer literacy, English language, effectively preparing and conducting lessons, among others.

This system is reportedly used in developed countries including Singapore, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

“Before using technology in teaching, teachers are supposed to have computer literacy themselves. We are improving the CPD programs where teachers are supposed to continue learning additional skills, besides holding certifications,” Twagirayezu said.

“In the CPD program, trained teachers work as trainers for others.”

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