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Smart Classroom revolutionizes science education in the University Rwanda


Technology’s pervasive presence in every facet of life persists, serving as a considerable asset to society, perpetually advancing and augmenting capabilities, be it in professional endeavors or mundane activities.

In the campus of the University of Rwanda, Rukara, nestled amidst Kayonza District, a remarkable transformation is taking place. The winds of change have blown away the traditional classrooms, paving the way for a futuristic learning experience that has propelled students into an academic revolution.

Following the successful transition from traditional classrooms to technology-driven learning spaces known as smart classrooms, the students’ academic performance has improved significantly.

These smart classrooms were established with the support of the Mastercard Foundation to advance education, particularly in science subjects, empowering science students to explore and experience the benefits of technology integration.

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The technological tools will continue to help students learn and teachers

UR-CE in partnership with AIMS and the Mastercard Foundation established two Smart Classrooms and one Digital Media Center at UR-CE, Rukara Campus.

These Classrooms are set to improve the quality education by providing ICT equipment and infrastructure and by creating an environment that promotes effective teaching and learning.

Previously hindered by limited access to resources, students relied on their imagination and limited materials to comprehend scientific concepts. However, the smart classrooms have provided them with a clear and visible understanding.

Before, when they encountered difficulties in understanding science textbooks, now, even where those materials are lacking, technology is used to bridge the gap and facilitate learning.

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Students have shown the Smart Classroom will assist them in having access to information that they need to excel

Tuyizere Saidi, a second-year mathematics student, mentioned that the smart classroom has greatly enhanced their learning experience as they can now have access to all materials they need.

He says they could not access certain hard copies of books but that with this technology it will be easier and faster.

He said, “We find science easier to comprehend when we utilize technology effectively. Instead of struggling to find textbooks we combine both traditional and digital methods to engage in interactive learning.”

“Most of us would finish University to go teach without really knowing how to use technology but now it is a totally different experience,” he added.

Ayingeneye Lenatha, a visually impaired student, expressed appreciation for the ability to record the teacher’s voice during lectures, enabling her to review the lessons later.

She stated, “Previously, we faced challenges in note-taking, but now, with the integration of devices for visually impaired individuals, we can learn effectively like our peers.”

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Visually students are not left behind as this technology is also inclusive to their needs

Nsengiyumva Jean Damascene, also visually impaired, shared similar sentiments. He is in his second year of language studies.

He explained that the smart classroom has helped them overcome many obstacles they previously faced, including a lack of access to writing resources.

Their academic achievements have significantly improved, along with other various benefits.

He said, “We used to have limited programs that helped us study, resulting in lower grades or difficulties in achieving success. However, the additional programs have improved our performance significantly.”

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They can follow lessons and understand them while others are reading

Mathias Nduwingoma, a lecturer at the University of Rwanda, emphasized that smart classrooms were established to enhance science education and foster technological proficiency among students, contributing to their daily work.

He said, “The impact of smart classrooms on our students and teachers is enormous. The teacher’s role becomes more substantial when utilizing smart classrooms, while our students, as future educators, will continue to benefit from this technology in future classrooms, as many schools already integrate it.”

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The students have the opportunity to access learning materials through technology

David Rurangirwa, the Country Porgram Head at the Mastercard Foundation, believes that education needs transformative teachers. That is why they have made efforts to invest in education to ensure that teachers and students have access to cutting-edge science education.

He further explained that smart classrooms play a crucial role in enhancing student and teacher interactions and engagement.

He stated that the Mastercard Foundation has invested in education and technology to empower teachers and students, particularly in science education.

Currently, in partnership with AIMS Rwanda, the Mastercard Foundation has trained 6,256 science teachers in 400 schools across 14 districts, including the establishment of smart classrooms in secondary schools, aimed at promoting science education, especially for girls.

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David Rurangirwa, the Country Program Head at the Mastercard Foundation, stated that their initiatives aim to advance science and learners experience
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Nduwingoma Mathias, a Lecturer at the University, expressed his appreciation for the Smart Classroom provided by the Mastercard Foundation
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