From 3 to 4 December, VVOB donated laptops to more than 700 secondary schools in 14 districts. VVOB, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Rwanda Education Board and the University of Rwanda College of Education, has been facilitating a continuous professional development (CPD) diploma course in Effective School Leadership for school leaders and a certificate course in Educational Mentorship and Coaching for mentor teachers, sector education officers and science teachers.
The CPD training programmes have been running in primary schools in four districts in Eastern Province and two districts in Western Province since last year. In secondary education, the CPD programmes are being offered in 14 districts as part of the Mastercard Foundation 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.
Preparing schools for blended learning
To ensure a cost-effective delivery and a wider reach of the CPD training programmes, VVOB is partnering with Rwanda Education Board and University of Rwanda College of Education to redevelop the programmes into a blended learning mode. A blended learning mode is a learning approach that consists of online self-paced learning coupled with face-to-face sessions. This approach enables the enhancement of school leader and teacher capacity building programmes with technologies using limited resources. In this regard, VVOB handed over one laptop with an internet modem to each of the 750 secondary schools in 14 districts to enable teachers and school leaders to take the courses in blended learning mode.
At the same time, a five-day preparatory training on Digital Literacy for Online Learning was organised for 450 head teachers and deputy head teachers who are already enrolled in the first cohort of the CPD training programme on Effective School Leadership, to prepare them for a blended learning mode. This course enables learners to use learning technology to participate in online learning communities and engaging with online learning resources.
How schools plan to use the laptops
Beatrice Mugorewase is a head teacher at G.S Mabare in Rwamagana district, Eastern Province. Although her school does not have access to electricity yet, Ms Mugorewase plans to use the new laptop effectively. “We already have one laptop which we charge from time to time at a nearby centre five kilometres from our school. With the new laptop whose battery can last over three hours when fully charged, I will be able to get some resources on how I can improve my leadership skills. And when I and some of our school staff start the CPD diploma and certificate courses we will use it for online sessions, but we may eventually need to walk to the centre,” she said.
Flavien Mutabaruka has been a head teacher at G. S Nyabishambi, a Nine Years Basic Education school in Gicumbi district, Nothern Province for the last 10 years. He is enrolled in the first cohort of the CPD diploma course in Effective School Leadership and also taking the Digital Literacy for Online Learning.
“Internet has become very crucial in every aspect of today’s life, without it you are almost lost. We are very grateful to VVOB and partners for this laptop provided with the portable internet modem. I will be able to continue studying anytime and everywhere without necessarily meeting a facilitator. I will not expect everything from a trainer anymore, I will do my own research about the course content and I hope I will even discover more. The school had only two laptops with limited access to internet. With this additional laptop, our teachers will also be able to get some teaching resources online and improve their knowledge and skills about their respective subjects,” Mr Mutabaruka said.
Between 2018 and 2021, all primary schools in six districts and secondary schools in 14 districts will benefit from the CPD programmes designed to improve educational services being delivered to school leaders and teachers to advance the implementation of the competence-based curriculum.