VVOB and its partners Rwanda Education Board (REB) and University of Rwanda-College of Education (URCE) started implementing the five-year programme "Leading, Learning and Teaching Together" in 2017. The programme focuses on enhancing the quality of primary education through improving school leadership and setting up an induction system for newly qualified teachers (NQTs).
To familiarise ourselves with the existing practices and needs of school leaders and new teachers, different teams went to gather information in two districts.
At school level, we gathered information from head teachers, deputy head teachers, NQTs, school-based mentors, school subject leaders, other teachers, parents and pupils.
The programme includes Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) to establish the link between pre-service and in-service teachers. TTC principals and TTC tutors were interviewed about their role in supporting in-service teachers.
Because it is important to get support from sector and district levels, we consulted the sector education officers and district directors of education as well.
There is consensus among all stakeholders that newly qualified teachers are not at the same level professionally as other teachers when they start teaching. They need support for logistical issues, an introduction to the school community, and extra training to match what they learnt in the TTC to the reality of a school. While there are good examples of such support in some schools, it is not a systematic practice in all schools.
Some head teachers have never been trained and mostly rely on the skills they learnt when they were in school themselves. They expressed a need for continuous professional development. They also shared the challenges they face at work, which include a shortage of teaching materials, unmotivated teachers and the challenging changes in the new curriculum.
The results of this exercise will be used to inform the redevelopment of the diploma course on school leadership for head teachers (by URCE) and the development of a certificate course on mentoring, coaching and professional learning communities for mentor teachers, school subject leaders and sector education officers.
After this undertaking, the first steps for developing the courses were taken. Together with our Flemish partners University College Leuven-Limburg, REB and URCE, we developed the competence profiles of the relevant stakeholders for an induction system. These competence profiles will be the foundation for the courses.