The State of Israel through its Embassy in Rwanda has disbursed Rwf100 million to purchase computers and other devices for teachers whose schools are being connected to the internet under the Giga project ( a smart classroom project).
Giga project was launched in 2019 by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to provide connectivity to every school in the world by 2030.
As co-chair of the UN Broadband Commission, Rwanda has supported the initiative and, in 2020, was chosen to lead the implementation of Giga in Africa.
Ambassador of Israel in Rwanda, Dr. Ron Adam, commended the strides made in Rwanda’s education sector over the years, and noted that Israel is pleased to support the country’s ground-breaking goal of universal connectivity in schools.
“Education is the foundation of everything, and this goes hand in hand with the quality. In this era, you can’t talk about quality while excluding technology. We believe that this support from Israel will be yet another stepping stone for Rwanda to realize its ambition of universal connectivity in schools and becoming a knowledge based economy,” Ambassador Adam said.
Of the 63 pilot schools of the Giga project, only 29 per cent have required computers and other devices for students and teachers, hence the need for more devices according to UNICEF Rwanda a partner in this project.
Julianna Lindsey, UNICEF Country Representative to Rwanda said they are grateful to the Israel Embassy in Rwanda for these generous supports to Giga connect initiative in Rwanda.
“This support will enable purchase of laptops for teachers in schools that are being connected to the internet across the country.
“This also comes to reduce the funding gap and bridge digital divide in schools, which is a barrier to quality learning,” Lindsey said.
Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB) Director General, Nelson Mbarushimana says that this will enable the education sector to address challenges faced by teachers during Covid-19 pandemic where access to technology facilities was an issue for teachers and students.
“The teachers were trained in ICT skills but we found that it is necessary to have the one laptop per teacher program where every teacher will have a laptop in the next two years,” Mbarushimana said.
The program will start with primary school teachers, and the main objective here is to enable paperless education system.