4 September 2017

Rwanda, Korea Join Efforts to Promote Music in Schools

Rwanda Education Board (REB), in partnership with Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), last week organised the first ever Music Education Conference aimed at strengthening music education at all levels.

The conference in Kigali brought together different stakeholders in the education sector and was held under the auspices of KOICA's 'Piano-Based Music Education' (PBM) programme.

REB Director-General Janvier Gasana said the programme will be instrumental in helping students grow their talents in music and inculcate an open-minded attitude in the children to adapt to all Competence-based Curriculum subjects.

"We look forward to continued collaboration, hoping that the musical instruments will not only contribute to Rwanda's music promotion among the young generation but also help students acquire basic playing skills that will help refresh their mind," he said.

Music was included in the national competence-based curriculum for primary schools in 2015 but it requires training of qualified instructors to teach the young generation basic skills in playing musical instruments such as piano.

In October 2015, Korean firm, Booyoung Co. Ltd, donated 2,000 digital pianos to the Government of Rwanda, that would be used to improve the quality of education and promote the musical education of the primary school students in Rwanda. All public primary schools have already received at least two digital pianos in each school throughout the country.

However, most of the instruments have remain idle because of lack of instructors.

To close such basic skills gap among primary music teachers REB in partnership with KOICA introduced a programme dubbed 'Piano-Based Music Education', through which Korean music experts support Rwandan teachers particularly in improving music instructional practices in the competence-based approach.

Hyeong Lae CHO, the KOICA country director, said there is hope that Rwandan music will soon be at its best as long as the young generation is trained to exercise the digital pianos to build a successful world of musical creativity.

"I hope Rwanda's young generation's knowledge about music is going to improve as long as they will be taught by a well- trained team of teachers who have practical skills at their disposal. We are committed to building a strong education system in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda," he said, tasking the government to make the most of the instruments.

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