Rwanda has chosen an infallible path towards the middle income economy status; education-knowledge and the cost that should be paid to that end.
Education partners continue to give their constructive tips on how successfully the country can prepare its sons and daughters, especially the youth-students and teachers who are the reliable people expected to drive this transition.
One such partners is Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT. The centre drives the innovative use of technology to improve teaching and learning in secondary education.
In partnership with the Rwanda’s ICT Chamber, the centre works to foster advancement in educational technology
through an initiative called EdTech Mondays that airs on KT Radio every last Monday of the month and simultaneously goes live on Kigali Today Youtube channel from 6PM to 7PM.
From the last episode, it was evident that young learners in Rwanda and Africa at large need strong foundational literacy and numeracy for further learning and the development of advanced skills that are critical to economic development and
the wellbeing of individuals and communities.
The April Episode will bring together three guests to discuss the “Digital Literacy: Crucial component of 21st Century Skills”.
This Monday, April 24 from 6PM, Margaret Bamurebe Network operation center Team Leader at IHS Rwanda Ltd, Shadrack Munyeshyaka the CEO and Founder of Nyereka Tech and Ngendabanga Celestin, the Science and Techmology Senior Trainer at Keza Education Future Lab Ltd will take the discussion further, in a talk show that will be moderated by KT Radio’s Ines Nyinawumuntu.
First thing the audience should expect from this episode, is to understand how Digital literacy is a component that Rwanda cannot go without, in fast-tracking 21st century skills. This belief is based on the fact that in classrooms, digital literacy enables students to access information in new ways and then communicate what has been learned with others, giving students a more prominent voice in the world around them.
Basically, EdTech Monday believes that Rwanda’s transition to a knowledge-based economy would necessitate the growth of scientific and technology competencies at all educational levels. Additionally, it will be necessary for elementary & secondary education educators to equip the students with the fundamentals of reading and numeracy as well as transferable skills like problem-solving and proficiency in ICT, as outlined in the ESSP 2018/19-2023/24.
But, as a saying goes, the most beautiful woman on earth can only give what they have; the educators themselves in most cases are not trained in ICT to be able to train the students.
Unfortunately, the country is lacking operational strategies for developing such abilities as it was highlighted by the World Bank’s Digital Economy for Africa initiative’s most recent assessment.
The skills gap among the educators would be addressed by a thorough digital skills country action plan, including activity costs. Thus, the Ministry of education and partners should highlight pPotential obstacles to implementing digital skills training and development for teachers in order to create a sustainable digital framework.
“Generally speaking, digital skills planning should take into account concerns like localizing digital technologies for use in local languages and creating programs that can assist educators up-date and develop their abilities,” the EdTech Monday concept note reads in part.
Teachers at Rwandan schools, particularly TVET institutions, lack access to relevant digital content. According to the 2019 midterm assessment and evaluation of ICT in education policy, 56.4% of the 40 selected schools (both primary and secondary) have access to digital material (online teaching and learning) while 42.3% claimed they were unaware of it.
This analysis studied the extent to which ICT devices were available in schools. Among those tested, 44.2% were aware that various ICT gadgets were present in their local schools, whereas 51.4 % were unaware of their availability.
It is believed that with sufficient investments, increased digital literacy can lay the foundation for faster adoption of hybrid models of learning which in turn have the potential to, in the long-term, accelerate the acquisition of skills relevant for today’s workplace.