The World Teacher’s Day this year will revolve around an indispensable theme, “The teachers we need for the education we want: The global imperative to reverse the teacher shortage”
This theme rhymes well with the objectives of EdTech Monday, a talk show conducted in Kinyarwanda mainly to address leveraging technology to advance education and learning in Rwanda.
Aired at KT Radio and KT Youtube every last Monday of the month, the EdTech Monday, under the traditional sponsorship of Master Card Foundation and Rwanda ICT chamber falls on September 25 from 6PM to 7PM.
Three panellists, under the coordination of one moderator/journalist will take an ample time to discuss ways of Building Digital Tools that Empower Teachers and Learners.
EdTech Monday is aware that being a teacher provides the unique opportunity to make a transformative and lasting impact on the lives of others, contributing to shaping sustainable futures and offering personal fulfilment.
The challenge however, is that “the world faces an unprecedented global teacher shortage exacerbated by a decline in their working conditions and status. Countries need teachers with the qualifications to provide education of high quality to children and youth. However,due to growth in enrolment in recent decades, a high proportion of teachers are unqualified.”
Rwanda, a country which seeks to become a knowledge-based economy makes no exception. Despite the fact that ICT is regarded as a top priority for increasing the relevance of education in the country, “there is a substantial scarcity of instructors who have been educated to use ICT in the teaching and learning process (Government of Rwanda 2018a).”
Research by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2019 on improving the quality and relevance of education in Rwanda through mobile learning indicate that while data on the proportions of teachers currently meeting required ICT competencies are unclear, 2016 data show that 17,791 teachers were trained on basic ICT skills, whereas 5,584 have received training in ICT-enhanced teaching.
This is equivalent to around 26% and 8% of all primary and secondary teachers, respectively. The fraction of teachers who fulfill the requisite ICT competence is also unknown, yet over 692 smart classrooms have been installed in schools around the country to increase the quality of ICT-enhanced teaching and learning, according to a research conducted in 2019.
Given this background, EdTech Monday understands that, “issues such as inadequate infrastructure, insufficient teacher training on utilizing ICT, and a shortage of digital material linked with the competency-based curriculum continue to plague pedagogical use of technology.”
This begs a conclusion that as far as Rwanda is concerned, “the question is no longer whether structured educational digital transformation should be applied. It is about how to do it most effectively.”
EdTech Monday, September edition will air in the traditional format with the panelists taking ample time to discuss the matter at hand, before an interaction with the audience, also to be moderated by the host journalist.