No matter where one might be in the world, chances are that a teacher left a positive impact on their life- someone who helped you finally grasp a challenging concept or experience a learning moment that defined your classroom experience.
In 1966, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation passed the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. The Recommendation established benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers. It set standards for their training and continuing education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions.
On October 5, we celebrate World Teachers’ Day, a time to remember the exceptional educators who have supported and inspired students over the years. The day is also an opportunity for reflection on the continuous inspiration from the teachers even beyond the classroom.
AIMS is committed to building a pipeline of students progressing to secondary and tertiary level mathematics and science education. We are working to decrease mathematics students’ failure and drop-out rates at all levels through our Teacher Training Program (TTP) by training well-rounded teachers.
The program is a five-year program targeting 4500 in-service and 2100 pre-service secondary school teachers in Rwanda. The program is an initiative of the AIMS and the MasterCard Foundation Leaders in Teaching (LIT) initiative, in collaboration with the University of Rwanda – College of Education (UR-CE) and the Rwanda Education Board (REB).
The TTP is based on a few pillars as follows;
Training teachers and master trainers on innovative gender-responsive pedagogic approaches for improved performance of girls and boys in math and sciences.
• Infrastructure, resources, and ICT support to equip Smart Classrooms, which are essential to the use of ICT in the delivery of this program.
• Outreach and public engagement to provoke change in attitudes, encourage communication and increase general understanding and support for pursuing an education in math and sciences in Rwanda for boys and girls.
• Operational research for evidence generation that informs the project and policy dialogue for greater engagement by government, civil society, the private sector, and academia.
“The unique thing about the Teacher Training Program in Rwanda is that we work with teachers, not on teachers; they are the engine of what we do,” Dr. Herine Otieno-Menya, Director, Teacher Training Program (TTP)-Rwanda.
TTP is changing the landscape in Mathematics and sciences, especially in the youth, encouraging them to join the STEM fields. TTP has made great strides in Rwanda with improving the learning outcomes in mathematics and STEM for secondary school students. TTP has empowered over 4000 teachers since its inception in 2018, launched 14 fully-fledged smart classrooms, awarded 42 teachers during its teacher awards, reached more than 30,000 students and members of the public, and plays a paramount role in policy dialogues aiming at improving the learning and teaching of maths and sciences.
Teachers are a background to society, and we must continuously celebrate them. In line with the continuous celebration, TTP Rwanda holds an annual Teacher award ceremony to shed light on the great strides of our secondary school educators.
“We need to create more opportunities to show our appreciation to teachers, not just as institutions, but as the members of the public. The appreciation is essential because it works as a sense of motivation among the teachers for them out of the public members,” Dr. Herine Otieno, TTP Director. “That sense of motivation is essential because it improves the teachers’ instructional practices, their values, and attitudes in addition to their knowledge.” She adds.