October 20, 2022

Over 250 trainers benefit from AIMS RWANDA-TTP Training for Trainers on Science Practical Activities.

 As Rwanda strives to build a knowledge-based economy, the government acknowledged that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is an engine for socio-economic development as a country (MINEDUC, 2015). 

To achieve this goal requires the country to ensure the improved quality of education through an updated STEM Curriculum, improved teaching and learning techniques and availability of teaching material. This is why, in 2015, Rwanda shifted from a knowledge-based curriculum to a Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC). The newly adopted curriculum prioritizes learner-centred pedagogy. The curriculum also emphasizes active instructional approaches that involve practical work or hands-on and mind-on activities in teaching and learning mathematics and sciences. 

In science teaching and learning, the practical activities’ role is well acknowledged.  Science practical activities are fundamental in science teaching as they help learners deepen their understanding, construct their knowledge and develop creativity, critical thinking skills, investigation skills, intellectual development, practical skills, interest, and positive attitudes, including scientific curiosity. Furthermore, with practical work, students are well prepared for employment, where they face and address challenges that they meet in their daily life. 

Enactment of practical activities in science necessitates teachers’ knowledge, skills and attitudes and values to enhance significantly the students’ learning outcomes and effectively contribute to their school achievement. However, Studies conducted indicate that students’ poor performance in mathematics and science in developing countries, including Rwanda, is connected to science poor teaching and learning approaches used added to class size and un availability of lab material and equipment in some schools (UR-CE, 2020).  

To overcome the above gaps, the Ministry of Education developed different strategies to improve mathematics and science instruction including in-service teacher training development, the distribution of different science teaching materials, improved science textbooks and experiment user guides, and I CT-enabled education system, in order to generate sustainable knowledge, competence, skills, innovation and creativity for Rwanda’s sustainable socio-economic development. 

In that regard, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Rwanda (AIMS), through its Teacher Training Program (TTP), in partnership with Mastercard Foundation and Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB), recently concluded week-long training sessions on science practical activities in the Musanze district. Spanning from 12-18 September 2022, the training sessions in mathematics and science practical activities involved over 251 secondary school mathematics and science teachers (ToTs) who will also support the training of other teachers. The Training of Trainers were selected from 14 LIT districts where AIMS Rwanda- TTP is being implemented, based on the subjects they teach and training centre locations. 

The Training was opened by was officially opened by a team from Rwanda Basic Education Board led by the Director of the Science and Mathematics in the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Resource Department, Mr Rugengamazi Felicien. 

“STEM aims to develop students to become lifelong learners of science, technology & mathematics, enabling them to meet the challenges of the 21st century.   I want to thank AIMS and Mastercard Foundation for this training which is in line with Rwanda’s 2050 vision that ensures standards of living for all Rwandans focusing on areas such as quality of life, modern infrastructure, livelihood and transformation for prosperity, to meet all these targets, it’s essential to achieve the highest possible quality of education to enable all citizens of Rwanda to build the advanced country that is envisioned to achieve, he said”. 

These training sessions will provide the teachers with the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge, skills and attitudes in teaching mathematics and science subjects using hands-on and minds-on activities using standard materials or an improvisation instructional approach. 

We are grateful to our partners at the Mastercard Foundation, Rwanda Basic Education Board, the University of Rwanda and the Ministry of Education for the successful program. 

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