The teachers and administrators of the institutions where the new method of teaching by means of technology is being modeled, appreciate this program because it allows them to focus more on their work and contribute to the improvement of the quality of education.
In June 2020, the Council of Ministers approved the Bridge International Academies project aimed at improving education in Rwanda (RwandaEQUIP) with the help of technology to improve the teaching and learning of children studying in primary and secondary schools.
After the approval of this project, it was necessary to find the equipment and hire the personnel who will help in its implementation. The Rwanda Education Quality Improvement Program (RwandaEQUIP) started in 2022.
Teachers and principals of more than 7000 schools received training on modern teaching methods. Principals of schools are given “smart phones” that contain technology (applications) that allow them to get information that helps them manage the school and monitor the students’ learning.
Rubengera Primary School is one of the 20 schools in the Karongi region where the Rwanda Equip program is being tested. The director of this school, Iyamuremye Samuel, told IGIHE that this technology helps him to know the percentage of teachers who come to work, the percentage of students who come, and the number of courses offered.
He said, “The program is good and should be delivered to all institutions because it allows children to learn to speak English, and the teacher who is weak can improve in terms of the English language because the lesson is well prepared in the English language and helps him to teach in this language. and provide living English”.
In the schools where this program is being tested, every teacher is provided with the technology tool ‘Teacher Tablet’. This tablet contains manuals and lessons prepared by experts.
Bonavanture, a man who has been teaching for seven years, says that after they were given this technology, when he was preparing the exercises, he was reading what he would teach the next day so that he would not be expected in class because everything was said or done within 40 minutes of the lesson. which is intended for certain minutes.
He said, “This technology makes the teacher work harder because it saves the teachers who were absent because the teacher uses more energy than what he used before”.
Teachers ask the Ministry of Education to increase the number of books because children should have books in front of them. So this becomes a problem because there are times when the book provided for the course on the tablet is no longer available.
While the teacher used to write many things on the board and the children copied them in their notebooks, it is no longer necessary because what the teacher has to write on the board is less.
Niyonshima Noella, an uneducated teacher, has been teaching for two years. He says that the first year he went to work was difficult because it required him to prepare courses, luckily in the following year at their center they immediately received Rwanda Equip technology.
He said, “Before, I used to bring books to prepare the lesson at home with a pen, but now it’s about reading, seeing what is difficult for you and researching it early so that tomorrow you won’t be confused in front of the students”.
Annette Tamara Mbabazi, Head of the Department of Communication in Rwanda Equip, told IGIHE that after one year this program has been tested in various educational institutions, and they have already seen satisfactory results.
He said, “This program has increased the participation of teachers in schools, teachers use English as the language of instruction, and it has resulted in more time spent in daily teaching, which has allowed students to learn as well as they should.”
RwandaEQUIP provides educational materials for all students and also solves the problems caused by the lack of books for them.
Mbabazi says that this program not only helps educators but also helps students because the learning of students is not only based on what the teacher teaches, but it is important for the teacher to pay attention to the time and the way he teaches.
He said “Teaching is a science (exact knowledge). “RwandaEQUIP trains teachers on how to teach enthusiastically in class and monitor the performance of all students, so that every child enjoys learning.”
RwandaEQUIP’s technology is expected to help all students learn literacy, numeracy, and 21st century values that include respect, ethical behavior, and hard work. This will make them successful and able to develop themselves, their families and the country as a whole.
By the end of this RwandaEquip program has reached 250 institutions across the country, it is expected that in 2023, this program will have reached 761 institutions. The first phase of this project is expected to last for four years after which the Government of Rwanda will determine the following.