The Director General of Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB), Nelson Mbarushimana, has disclosed that efforts are underway to ensure that, by 2025, every teacher has a laptop and that that will boost use of technology and innovation in the education sector.
Mbarushimana made the remarks on May 30, as Rwanda celebrated Teachers’ Innovation Day for the first time. The event took place at the Kigali Convention Center and was celebrated under the theme of ‘Effective use of ICT in teaching and learning’.
He stated that there is a target to provide one laptop per teacher, and this journey began last year.
Mbarushimana said: “By 2025, our target is to achieve a ratio of 1 laptop per teacher. As we also embark on the journey to digitise our textbooks, it becomes vital for teachers to have a laptop as a tool to effectively engage and interact with the digital environment, both inside and outside the classroom.”
He added that in the 21st century, teachers need to have ICT skills as it forms the foundation of teaching in the classroom. “At REB, we have adopted a blended mode of teaching, where teachers can deliver lessons either physically or online.”
For teachers to effectively integrate ICT into their teaching, Mbarushimana said, they need to undergo training and acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. He mentioned that instructional technology requires teachers to be confident in utilizing ICT tools, such as computers. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of technology in helping learners recall lessons for the long term through the use of audio and visual aids.
Speaking about the challenges raised by the teachers, such as the lack of sufficient connectivity and an inadequate number of laptops, he assured that REB is actively collaborating with various partners to address these issues.
As an example, he highlighted the installation of Starlink internet in 500 schools. Following the successful piloting phase, the initiative will be expanded on a national level.
He pointed out that in line with increasing the number of computers, disclosed that this fiscal year alone there are around 25,000 computers to be distributed to schools,
Antwongyeire Annah Baguma, an Economics teacher at ES Modern Kayonza, was recently recognized as one of the top 10 outstanding teachers in the effective use of technology while teaching. In a statement, she expressed her belief that celebrating such a day serves as a powerful motivation for teachers and encourages them to further embrace digital tools and methods in their classrooms.
Baguma, who has been a teacher since 2006, argues that ICT is a game changer in teaching. She points out a significant gap in her teaching and learning process, noting that in the past, the system was teacher-centered. However, she emphasizes that things have changed today, and the focus has shifted to learner-centered approaches. With the integration of ICT, she believes that teaching has become much easier and more effective.
Aline Mutoniwase, a senior four student at GS St Pierre Nkombo, is enthusiastic about the use of technology in learning. She believes that technology has greatly aided her and her classmates in creating various tools as part of their innovative projects.
She said, “As the country and the world, in general, evolve, the use of technology in our schools helps us catch up with the skills needed in the market. We no longer have to rely solely on what we learned in traditional classrooms. This will also greatly contribute to my studies.”
During the event, 10 teachers were awarded for their exemplary use of ICT in teaching, while various schools showcased their innovative projects.