UR-College of Education student-teachers to gain school-life experience through School Practice and Practicum

15 Jan 2024

The University of Rwanda-College of Education (UR-CE) is revamping its approach to preparing teachers, giving student-teachers valuable experience right within secondary schools. This exciting initiative, called "School Practice" for first-year students and "Practicum" for second-year students, promises to bridge the gap between classroom theory and real-world teaching.

During briefing sessions held in UR Nyagatare, Rukara, and Remera Campuses over the past three weekends, from 6 to 14 January 2024, Dr. Philothere Ntawiha and Mr. Pierre Barayagwiza, Coordinators of School Attachment and Practicum in the School of Education and the School of Inclusive and Special Needs Education respectively met with all 1st and 2nd year student-teachers. They took them through these new teacher-education approaches as it is a requirement before undertaking their implementation in secondary schools.

As explained, first-year student-teachers will immerse themselves in the school environment, observing experienced teachers, assisting with classroom activities, and even taking their first steps at leading lessons. This early exposure will help them build confidence, understand classroom dynamics, and discover their teaching style.

For second-year students, Practicum takes things a step further. They’ll get to plan and deliver some lessons under the guidance of mentors, assess student learning, and manage classroom behavior. This hands-on experience is crucial for refining their teaching skills and preparing them for the full responsibilities of a professional educator.
The benefits are that student-teachers gain confidence, learn from experienced mentors, and adapt their teaching approaches to real students. Schools, in turn, get fresh perspectives and valuable support from future educators.

This revamped program isn’t just about academics and building well-rounded teachers. Student-teachers will also participate in extracurricular activities, interact with the school community, and learn about the broader context of education.
Many student-teachers were eager to put their theoretical knowledge into practice and gain valuable insights from experienced mentors. School leaders who were contacted for collaboration on these endeavors will have the opportunity to collaborate with future educators and contribute to shaping the next generation of teachers.

The University of Rwanda-College of Education’s commitment to providing hands-on experience will pave the way for confident, skilled, and well-rounded teachers who will inspire and educate Rwanda’s future generations.

Activities related to Practicum are financed by t the leaders in the Teaching Initiative (LIT) project funded by the Mastercard Foundation. Practicum is part of the four (4) LIT components through which it works to build the capacity of UR-CE academic staff and pre-service teachers.

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