Two Rwandans — Rogers Patrick Kamugisha and Jean-Claude Nkulikiyimfura – have been named among the top 10 finalists for the Africa Education Medal 2023, a prestigious continental award.
Kamugisha is the Country Director of Educate! , an organization that designs and delivers education solutions that equip young people in Africa with the skills to succeed in “today’s economy”, while Nkulikiyimfura is the Executive Director of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV), a non-profit focused on providing vulnerable and orphaned youth in Rwanda the necessary healing and education.
Gaspard Twagirayezu, Rwanda’s Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education congratulated Nkulikiyimfura, saying he is a visionary leader who is making a positive impact on the education system in Rwanda.
“His dedication to improving the lives of young people is truly inspiring. He has invested his talent in healing the hearts of those who have experienced trauma, preparing them for the challenges of the ever-changing world and creating a lasting impact on the country’s future generations,” Twagirayezu said.
Nkulikiyimfura was born a refugee in Burundi. His parents were both orphaned and fled Rwanda in 1961, but taught their children that they would one day return to Rwanda and restore justice and dignity for all.
He first visited the ASYV campus in 2010, where he met a student named Fabien, a genocide survivor and orphan who inspired him with his determination. This experience led him to enter the non-profit sector and work for ASYV in hopes of helping students like Fabien build dignified and self-reliant lives.
Nkulikiyimfura’s vision for ASYV has guided the organization in its work to achieve several strategic goals, including digitizing all curricula, developing vocational training based on national economic need and opportunity, closing gender-based gaps in programming, and developing a new trauma-informed curriculum that will train staff members to provide students with the emotional support they need to thrive. This work is enhancing learning outcomes and helping students build supportive relationships with their peers and educators.
Kamugisha, on the other hand, is an educator and economist with over 10 years’ experience working in the Rwandan education system. He joined Educate! in 2015 to support its launch in Rwanda and subsequently assisted the organisation’s expansion into Kenya and Tanzania. He now oversees a team of 50 working to implement Educate!’s teacher training and support model in the 30 districts of Rwanda.
He is a former teacher and National Master Trainer on skills-based education, and this makes him understand more the challenges that African teachers face. He has personally trained over 500 teachers on competency-based curriculum best practices, helped governments to develop education materials, and his work has had a significant impact on the quality of education in East Africa.
The overall winner of the Africa Education Medal will be announced in July.
An initAn initiative of T4 Education and Hewlett-Packard (HP), in collaboration with Microsoft, Africa Education Medal honours an outstanding individual who has demonstrated impact, leadership, and advocacy in the field of education.