University of Rwanda-College of Education Hosts Successful Competency-Based Education Workshop

20 May 2024

The University of Rwanda-College of Education (UR-CE) recently concluded a two-day workshop on Competency-Based Education (CBE), attended by over 180 academic staff and school/department administrative assistants of UR-CE. Held at Lemigo Hotel, this initiative, part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Leaders in Teaching (LIT) Program support to UR-CE, aimed to enhance the University of Rwanda-College of Education academic staff’s capacity in designing and implementing effective CBE curricula.

Keynote insights and collaborative efforts
Prof. Alphonse Uworwabayeho, the CBE Coordinator for the Mastercard Foundation’s LIT Program, highlighted the workshop’s success in equipping participants with essential skills for developing CBE curricula, devising appropriate assessment strategies, and leveraging information and communication technology (ICT) and artificial intelligence (AI) in education. He emphasized the importance of advancing scholarship in CBE to ensure a high-quality educational framework.

Prof.Alphonse Uworwabayeho, Coodinator of CBE/LIT Programme during his remarks

In his address, Prof. Wenceslas Nzabalirwa, LIT Programs Academic Lead, reflected on the partnership with the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), which began in July 2022. He expressed satisfaction with the progress made, despite initial uncertainties. "At the beginning, it was not clear. We worked together to find out a way we can really conduct, and we made this agreement," he stated. Nzabalirwa acknowledged the crucial role of the trained champions, who have been pivotal in cascading their knowledge to other staff members.

Advancing educational technology
Prof. Nzabalirwa also discussed the integration of educational technology, noting its indispensable role in modern teaching and learning practices. He pointed out that technology itself is not inherently educational but must be harnessed effectively to enhance teaching, learning, and assessment. He therefore urged his colleagues to adopt a collaborative approach to integrating technology into the educational system.

Recognition of efforts and future directions
Speaking on behalf of her colleagues, Dr. Gelareh Keshavarz, Associate of Competency-Based Education at OISE, praised the dedication and hard work of the UR-CE champions. She encouraged them to continue striving for excellence in CBE and to build on the achievements made thus far.

Closing remarks and call for collective effort
The workshop’s closing remarks were delivered by UR-CE Acting Principal, Prof. Florien Nsanganwimana, who commended the participants’ commitment and the facilitators’ efforts. He reflected on the university’s journey since the introduction of CBE to Rwanda in 2015, acknowledging both the challenges and the significant progress made. Prof. Nsanganwimana highlighted the transformative impact of AI in education and emphasized the need for teamwork to ensure the successful implementation of the CBE framework.

Prof. Wenceslas Nzabalirwa, Academic Lead/LIT Programme during his remarks

Prof. Nsanganwimana underscored the importance of a collective effort in the educational system, stating, "If we want our efforts to make an impact, we are working in a system. If we want to do things better and others do not do things, then my effort is nullified. That is the reality." He called for a unified approach to encourage participation and meet deadlines, stressing that the success of CBE depends on the active engagement of all stakeholders.

UR-CE Acting Principal Prof. Florien Nsanganwimana during his closing remarks

The Leaders in Teaching (LIT) Program, funded by the Mastercard Foundation, is crucial in enhancing the capacity of the University of Rwanda-College of Education (UR-CE) academic staff and pre-service teachers. With objectives focused on strengthening Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) training, providing practicum opportunities, integrating ICT, and improving research skills, the program supports UR-CE’s educational advancements. The collaboration with the University of Toronto’s OISE further solidifies these efforts, ensuring continued progress in modern education.

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