The Ministry of Education is reviewing its Information and Communication Technology(ICT) policy in use since April 2016.
A few years ago, this policy was updated to include One Digital Identity Per Child and “Smart Classrooms. The ultimate goal for the Ministry of Education is a computer for every child in what has been also dubbed “One Laptop Per Child” (OLPC).
The Ministry of Education says it is consulting public and private partners to review its policy, for students to move with rapid technological changes.
“The policy we have dates from 2016 and it is under review. To review it, we consult public and private partners. We need ideas that can be put in the new policy. Technology changes very fast, thus the need to insert new things,” Bella Rwigamba, Chief Digital Officer from the Ministry of Education said.
“In 2016, we didn’t think that some things could happen, some were not considered. Further, Covid-19 changed many things at a very fast pace. The new policy will be shaped by the government, in partnership with development private partners. Everyone will have a role to play,” Rwigamba added.
Rwigamba gave this update on November 28, during EdTech Monday, a program championed by Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT in partnership with the Rwanda ICT cluster to leverage technology to advance education and learning in Rwanda.
EdTech Monday is broadcast live on KTRadio and streamed live on Kigali Today YouTube Channel once every month, last Monday from 6 PM to 7 PM.
The 2016 education ICT policy was in line with Rwanda’s vision 2020 that aimed at moving the country from an agriculture-based economy to a knowledge-based society and middle-income country 2020.
Then, the use of ICT in education was seen as a strategic lever for achieving this transformation. This policy also aimed to complement the overall “SMART RWANDA” Strategy, through implementation of the Smart Education policy.
“It is all about combining our efforts, all of us to see that children study effectively. Learning with new tech trends. That requires a kind of ideas and thinking,” said the Director, African Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT at Mastercard Foundation Joseph Nsengimana.
“We want ideas on how we can work together, effectively within available means. It is possible to achieve milestones, but working together is very important.”
The 2016 education ICT policy to be reviewed was approved by Cabinet in April, 2016.
According to this policy, students need to be prepared for the 21st century and be facilitated to succeed and thrive in today’s complex, technology-based global economy, and to be active 21st century global citizens.
“Education is a public good, and students deserve the best. For private tech companies, they need the government market and others from the development partners. But it is not accessible enough,” Alex Ntare, CEO of Rwanda ICT Chamber.
“It is not easy to balance partnership between people who are working for money and the government that needs to have children educated, but it also aims to have quality education. It requires strong collaboration.”