18 May 2014

Rwanda: School Curriculum Under Review

The Ministry of Education through Rwanda Education Board (REB) has embarked on a comprehensive review of the current pre-primary, primary and secondary school curriculum to emphasise skills development, officials have said.

Dr Joyce Musabe, the head of Curriculum Development at REB, said the review focuses on 24 subjects and aims at equipping learners with high competence skills.

She was speaking on Wednesday after four day meeting with over one hundred education stakeholders.

"When you look at the existing curriculum, the revision is very important because we want to shift from knowledge-based curriculum to the competence-based curriculum," said Musabe.

She said the current curricula needed to be reviewed after various studies and comparisons with curricula of other countries found some weaknesses.

The revision comes after a national consultative meeting with all stakeholders from the East African community who gave their input. Musabe said there was need to align some elements of the national curriculum with the country's development under the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2).

She said the old curriculum has a heavy content compared to the learners capacity, some subjects, known as elective, were not given priority while others were not easily understandable in terms of language by both learners and teachers.

The revision aims at equipping learners with capacity to interpret what is taught with critical thinking and make them more competent at their respective levels, according to Musabe.

The new curriculum will also give more focus on cross-cutting issues such as comprehension, sex education, citizenship, Genocide studies and peace education among others. They will be integrated in core subjects to help students grow with a spirit of nationalism.

French, that appears to have been neglected, will be given priority and will be part of national exams.

Anna Baguma, a teacher at Kayonza Modern School in Kayonza District, said the curriculum will increase student participation in class and interaction with teachers.

"The new reviewed curricula will help us impart competent skills which students will participate in," she noted.

The curriculum review was supported by Unicef and The United Nations Population Fund. It will ready in December.

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