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STEM teachers

On 2 and 3 March, over 400 subject leaders in science and mathematics from secondary schools in 14 districts completed a continuous professional development (CPD) certificate programme in Coaching and Mentoring for STEM teachers, offered with VVOB support. 

Empowering teachers together


VVOB has been working with the Ministry of Education and the Rwanda Education Board and the University of Rwanda College of Education (URCE), in facilitating a CPD certificate programme in Educational Mentorship and Coaching for STEM teachers, school-based mentors and sector education officers. At the same time, a CPD diploma programme in Effective School Leadership is also offered to school leaders.


The CPD training programmes are being offered as part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Leaders in Teaching initiative. Leaders in Teaching is an initiative that transforms teaching and learning in secondary education across Africa so young people have the skills and competencies they need to succeed in work and life.

Enhancing coaching and mentoring


The certificate programme consists of two modules, which are offered over the course of four weekends.  The first one helps participants in enhancing their coaching and mentoring skills and setting up a community of practice of STEM teachers in their schools.  The second module focuses on the pedagogy of teaching science and mathematics. 


In the second module, participants learn about the 5E’s, a widely applied instructional model for teaching science and mathematics.


The 5 E’s stand for:

  • engage/excite,
  • explore,
  • explain,
  • elaborate and
  • evaluate.

Applying the new skills


 During the final weekend, they learnt about practical work, questioning, concept tests, models, animations and simulations.  During the second day, they tried out what they have learnt by developing, teaching and discussing a science or mathematics lesson.


For subject leaders, the programme has helped them to improve their teaching and their support to their colleagues. 


Emmanuel Nsanzimana is a chemistry teacher in Musanze District, Nothern Province. He says that using the 5E’s helps the learners to generate ideas and find the key question of the lesson. He has been using the acquired coaching and mentoring skills to help learners in his school. 


Benjamin Ndayishimye teaches chemistry at Groupe Scolaire Bugoba in Kamonyi District, Southern Province. He explains that learning the 5 E’s helped him to think critically during the preparation of his lessons: “I have tried out some short experiments such as burning ethanol and encouraged learners to ask questions.  I asked the head teacher of our school for time to explain course concepts to my colleagues,” he said.


Participants have to submit four practice-based assignments, keep a portfolio of evidence and pass an examination in order to be awarded the URCE CPD Certificate.  The portfolio documents how they apply the content of the programme into their daily teaching. 


Based on feedback from trainers and participants, the programme will be reviewed before the second cohort of subject leaders in STEM start their training in June.