Home Business & TechTechnology How the Leaders in Teaching (LiT) programme Improved Rwanda’s Education?

How the Leaders in Teaching (LiT) programme Improved Rwanda’s Education?

by Daniel Sabiiti
11:55 pm

Isabelle Byusa, Lead, Education and Skills at Mastercard Foundation

Isabelle Byusa, Lead, Education and Skills at Mastercard FoundationThe Leaders in Teaching (LiT) programme has officially closed its activities in Rwanda with a call for sustainability of its achievements and encouraging more women to take up school leadership roles, science and technology.

The five-year program, sponsored by Mastercard Foundation and implemented by Leaders in Teaching learning partners- Laterite and the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre at the University of Cambridge and key partners in the education sector was officially closed on November 22.

Leaders in Teaching is a five-year programme that was aimed at improving the quality of teaching and learning in Rwandan secondary education through teacher training programming, with a focus on improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), English proficiency and school management.

As the learning partners, Laterite and the REAL Centre have been responsible for developing robust quantitative and qualitative evidence on how the Leaders in Teaching programme is improving the quality of teaching and student learning in secondary schools.

The LiT programme was implemented through education sector partners such as the United Nations Children’s agency (UNICEF) University of Rwanda College of Education (UR-CE), VVOB, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Inspire, Educate and Empower Rwanda (IEE), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)-Africa) and The British Council- who each focused on new approaches to improve education standards, use of technology and skills development.

For example, the British Council implemented the Secondary Teachers English Language Improvement Rwanda (STELIR) project that aims to improve the English language proficiency of lower secondary teachers to at least intermediate level, reaching 6,000 in-service teachers across 14 districts, plus 1,000 lower secondary pre-service teachers at URCE.

The project, with the ultimate goal of improving learning opportunities, has seen over 2,400 teachers completed the three-stage language development programme courses and trainee assessments shows that 98% reported confidence in using the English language and effectively applying the skills, while 98% showed having more positive mindset regarding continued professional development.

Officials from partner organisations in the education sector

Vanessa Komillades, the STELIR Team Lead, said this programme will achieve a sustainable change by adapting training materials for face-to-face intensive and online delivery, developing a cadre of local English Teacher Trainers (or Moderators) who can deliver ongoing training after the project has ended.

Gender Disparities To Address:

The AIMS Teacher Training Program (TTP) made a significant impact on the quality of STEM education for secondary school students in Rwanda by providing training on a range of topics, top-notch classroom resources, and cutting-edge technology such as Smart Classrooms.

The TTP project trained over 7,000 in-service Mathematics and Science teachers (38% women) in pedagogical and science practical skills but one of the unique challenges of TTP was the gender disparity even when its focused on addressing gender stereotypes that often discourage girls from pursuing mathematics and science.

Inspire, Educate and Empower Rwanda (IEE) delegate

The Education Statistical Yearbook, 2020/2021) shows that whereas females make up the majority of primary school teachers in Rwanda (56.8%), they account for only 33.7% of secondary school teachers.

This means secondary female teachers are in a minority both at school level and when participating in professional development opportunities for teachers at large.

Since being in a minority of almost one female to every three males can undermine self-confidence and lower self-esteem, in turn inhibiting participation and learning.

VVOB – education for development together with REB and UR-CE implemented the Leading, Teaching and Learning Together (LTLT) programme in secondary education targeting 680 schools in 14 districts from 2018 to 2021.

The objective of the LTLT programme was to improve the quality of secondary education in Rwanda by strengthening competencies of key education actors through Continuous Professional Development (CPD) support systems.

A total of 3,752 education actors (of which 868 were female) successfully completed the CPD programmes.

However, the Teaching Assistantship Project (TAP) implemented by IEE to engage young girls and boys during their transition year to tertiary education, providing them with a comprehensive skill-building experience as Teaching Assistants, managed to see a 70% female uptake.

The Minister of Education GAspard Twagirayezu(L)

The Minister of education, Gaspard Twagirayezu, who officiated the programme closeout event said as a way of sustainability Rwanda will have to focus on increasing the number of female school leaders and competent women leaders in STEM subjects teaching since number of female teachers increasing

“Why don’t we have more women STEM teaching and leadership, if we have more women teachers. This is something we need to be very intentional about. It is not a matter of numbers but how their presence enriches the quality of education,” Twagirayezu.

Pauline Rose Director REAL Center said that the learning partnership activities are officially coming to an end, but work ahead doesn’t ever come to an end and thus there is a need to identify the right types of support to further the progress made.

“We have a lot of data. We will be wanting to continue to develop that and we will certainly want this to be continued to disseminate it, to identify, with partners, areas of continued support,” Rose said.

Dr. Phillip Leonard Country Director Laterite said that the LiT programme was piloted in Rwanda as the first country, however its results can be used in other countries to benefit as well.

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