The New Times (Kigali)

15 January 2013

Rwanda: 1,000 Mentors for Literacy Campaign

One thousand mentors will, this academic year, be deployed in various schools under the Literacy, Language and Learning (L3) campaign that is being implemented by Education Development Centre Inc., a US-based organisation.

Thise move is in line with enforcing full implementation of School-based Mentoring Programme (SBMP), an initiative aimed at building teachers' capacity to effectively adopt new teaching techniques that include video modules.

"This video module will provide effective school-based mentoring practices as well as effective literacy and numeracy instruction strategies," said Said Yasin, the head of Education Development Centre (EDC).

Last year, the L3 Initiative in collaboration with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) developed the video teaching and learning module as one of the easiest means of education. This saw EDC equipping the recording studio of Rwanda Education Board (REB) to build its capacity in recording audio-visual educational materials.

Materials in Kinyarwanda, English and Mathematics are being recorded. They will be distributed to public primary schools countrywide.

Rolling out

Yasin said L3 networks will be accessible to every mentor to view the modules so as to ensure effective implementation of the project. The recorded materials will first be distributed to mentors in 90 schools supported by L3, before other schools across the country get theirs.

The project is funded by the US Agency for International Development. School-based Mentors are expected to guide teachers in the training and how effective they can make a plan to use the new technique in their classrooms.

Teachers are optimistic that the new initiative will bring positive changes in the education system as far as learning and teaching concerned.

Yonah Nyundo, the L3 SBMP coordinator, said the programme that will be implemented by Rwanda Education Board will run until 2017.

"The first phase will actually be testing the materials to ensure effectiveness; and then the programme will be rolled out as every school is meant to benefit," said Nyundo.

Geoffrey Mutabazi, the principal of Green Hills, recently told The New Times that recording audio-visual materials will promote learning, especially English language, arguing that owing to transition in the education system from French to English, pronunciation is not only a challenge for students, but even some teachers.

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