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Young educators catalyze a revolution in quality education

Young people are set to catalyze change in Rwanda’s education sector by providing personalized teaching and simplified learning for high school students. They are set to ensure students receive quality education and excel in Science and humanities.

On June 23, 2023, Enspire, Educate, and Empower Rwanda (IEE Rwanda), in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation under the Leaders in Teaching (LIT) initiative, and REB, commissioned 630 teaching assistants from the Teaching Assistantships Project (TAP). This project is designed to improve school leadership and teaching quality through the engagement of young people.

The 630 school leavers, in their transitional year to tertiary education, received training from IEE Rwanda in a variety of skills, including teaching. These teaching assistants (TAs) also gained practical teaching experience at host schools.

These students assist teachers and learners to produce the best results

After six months of intensive training and practical teaching experience, they are now prepared for their future careers as educators and advocates for education.

The project’s primary objective is to increase the influx of high-performing and passionate young people, especially women, into the teaching profession. Among the 630 commissioned teaching assistants, 441 are females, and 189 are males.

The project also aims to improve school leadership and teaching quality in TA-supported schools. Among the 630 TAs, 156 have been admitted and will pursue their education at the University of Rwanda Rukara Campus.

They teach Sciences and Humanities

Emmanuel Murenzi, the Country Director of IEE Rwanda, stated that these students have the potential to impact the education system and inspire their peers to pursue education and contribute to their communities.

“These students will help motivate their peers to join the teaching profession. They teach in different schools located in their districts or even schools they attended themselves,” Murenzi said.

He added, “This can motivate other students to excel since they can see their elders who did so. These students have an impact because they use the little money they gain to provide high school students with books or Community-Based Health Insurance (Mutuelle de Santé).”

The Country Director of IEE Rwanda believes these young people can inspire others

Cyuzuzo Juliette, one of the teaching assistants, said the experience has made her more confident to make a positive impact in her society.

She said, “As I stand before 40 or 30 children as they wait to gain knowledge from me that will change their lives in the future, I believe that I am a powerful person since I am able to impact other people. It makes me believe that I can do much more, and that confidence helps me a lot.

The students were given monthly transport allowance to be able to fulfill their duties

The project has an ambitious goal to benefit a minimum of 3,000 teaching assistants by 2026, of whom 2,100 are females representing 70 percent (1,470 females in STEM, 630 females in humanities), and 900 are males representing 30 percent (630 males in STEM, 270 males in humanities).

Furthermore, a minimum of 580 Head Teachers, Directors of Studies, and Host Teachers will be trained to coach and mentor Teaching Assistants across 580 schools, reaching a minimum of 116 schools each year.

The teaching assistants receives laptops that will help them in their roles

Rica Rwigamba, the Country Director of the Mastercard Foundation, stated that the objective is to equip young people with the skills necessary for the market, which she believes begins with education.

“We know the importance of teachers. When you have a great teacher, you are motivated, and you learn better. These young people can join the teaching profession and improve the education system and the learning outcomes of students,” Rwigamba said.

Rica Rwigamba, the Country Director of the Mastercard Foundation believes that among the best students can emerge the best teachers

Gaspard Twagirayezu, the Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education, emphasized that teaching is more than just a job; it should be viewed as a calling.

“It is a calling, it works better if the person doing it has a passion for the children and has a passion for education. When people start early, it instills that passion in them,” Twagirayezu said.

He added, “This is an effort to grow a significant number of teachers who treat this as a calling and not just a job.”

Minister of state, Gaspard Twagirayezu wishes more students would pursue a career in education

Despite some skepticism about the profession, the State Minister stressed that the sector is improving in terms of teacher welfare, teaching materials, and infrastructure.

He noted, “The teaching profession is actually improving. Recently, the government of Rwanda increased teachers’ salaries by 80% for primary school teachers, which is a positive development. We believe that the students who are studying today to become teachers will enter a profession that is better than it is today.”

He also urged the students pursuing a career in education to adopt and utilize new teaching methodologies, leverage technology, and engage in professional development opportunities.

“By doing so, you will stay ahead of the latest advancements in education and provide your students with a well-rounded learning experience,” he concluded.

Currently, in Basic Education (comprising primary and secondary school), there are approximately 100,000 individuals in the teaching profession and 4 million students. This highlights the immense importance, role, and consequential responsibility of teachers.

Students received certificates that highlight their achievements s
156 students among 630 are now pursuing careers in education
Students have not only helped their peers but they also impacted their families financially

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