As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, digital literacy and skills have become a vital tool for individuals, communities, and learning institutions alike.
Digital Literacy gives the ability to navigate our digital world to find, evaluate, and communicate information.
For educators, digital literacy is critical in leveraging technology in the best interest of students and their future employability options and they need easy access to appropriate learning tools and adequate training to make the most of the technology solutions available in education.
The advantages of digital literacy, on the other hand, are infinite. Digital literacy promotes academic advancement and teaches students how to utilize digital technologies successfully in all areas of their lives.
However, access to digital tools for teaching is a potent challenge, particularly in areas with poor internet connectivity and low economic levels.
Rwanda’s education system serves about 3.6 million students in over 13,000 institutions. The government has worked to enhance quality education by providing teacher training, improving access to teaching materials, and expanding access to technology.
The One Laptop Per Child initiative, for example, has already handed over 269 000 computers to 933 primary schools, and the government is now in the midst of providing laptops to teachers.
Funding and a dearth of competent teachers are among the challenges, as is a high dropout rate, with just 71.6% of learners progressing from primary to lower secondary and 85-4% progressing from lower to upper secondary
In order to understand what activities are being initiated in Rwanda to boost digital literacy to assist education systems and human capital development, the EdTech Monday episode of October 2023 will focus on Accelerating Digital Literacy to Benefit Education Systems in Rwanda.
EdTech Monday in Rwanda is a monthly education in technology interactive program sponsored by the Mastercard Foundation and Rwanda Private Sector-ICT Chamber with an aim to spark discussion on progress and challenges around the Education Technology ecosystem in Rwanda.
The October, 30th 2023 show will air live on both KT Radio (96.7FM) and on the Kigali Today YouTube Channel from 6-7PM with two panelists – Epimaque Maniragena, the Founder WeDTC Digital training center in Kigali, and Nathalie Niyonzima, the Programs and Learning Lead- Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning at Mastercard Foundation.
The duo will shed light on what digital literacy for education in Rwanda means, what look like in the most unconducive environment, and the skills taught and what are some of the success measurement indicators.
The panel will explore the education challenges that digital literacy can solve, and how to strengthen digital literacy skills to benefit an expanding education-hungry population that is expected to reach 750 million children of school age by 2060.
Following models like E-learning, which was used mostly during the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the hybrid models of learning being adopted in Rwanda, the panel will discuss if this is still used and how it can be leveraged in learning institutions capacity at all levels to accelerate digital literacy and skills.
By 2030, Africa will encompass about 625 million people who require digital skills, more than 50% of all jobs in Kenya and 35-45% of jobs in Rwanda, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire, for example, are expected to require digital skills.
The panel will have to keenly show what initiatives (in the digital direction) are being taken to support this demand, but also anticipate other approaches to explore to grow an understanding of digital literacy and its importance in accelerating education outcomes.