The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today handed over 185 computers, 1,680 tablets, and other IT equipment to the Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB) to enhance access to equitable quality education in refugee and host community schools.
The handover ceremony took place at GS Paysannat L C, one of the schools hosting refugee students from Mahama camp and those from surrounding communities in Mahama sector, Kirehe District.
Speaking at the event, the UNHCR Rwanda Deputy Representative, Boubacar Bamba, said that this is one of the programmes that the UNHCR, working closely with the Government of Rwanda, is supporting to improve access to inclusive equitable quality education for refugee and host community children through technology that facilitate connected learning in the country.
“Education is a priority for the Government, UNHCR and our partners. It’s important that we take good care of the education process because it is a way for people to learn and to be self-reliant later when they achieve their curriculum.” he said.
The new initiative is rolled out in partnership with Profuturo Foundation, a digital education programme created by Telefónica Foundation and ¨la Caixa¨ Foundation to narrow the education gap in the world by improving the quality of education of boys and girls living in vulnerable environments.
The project, implemented by UNHCR and its partners ADRA and World Vision, will equip 15 national schools hosting refugees with ICT equipment such as laptop computers, tablets, projectors, routers and other essential accessories necessary for setting up digital education programme.
The schools are located in Gatsibo, Gicumbi, Kirehe, Gisagara, Nyamagabe, and Karongi districts. The programme targets 17,952 students of grades 4-6.
As part of this project, UNHCR has also built and furnished 3 ICT rooms each at GS Nyabchiwamba in Nyabiheke, Paysannat L-C in Mahama, and at EP Umbano in Kiziba refugee camp.
The Head of ICT in Education Department at REB, Dr. Christine Niyizamwiyitira, commended UNHCR for renovating and furnishing smart classrooms and for implementing education technology to enhance learning outcomes.
“I call upon our partners to continue to support basic education focusing more on empowering ICT integration in education towards the 21st century labor market,” said Dr. Niyizamwiyitira.