On Wednesday, 19th August 2018, Mrs. Lianqin Wang, Lead Education Specialist in the World Bank for the East Africa Region, visited the University of Rwanda, College of Education in the framework of the World Bank’s new project on basic education in Rwanda.
Mrs. Lianqin Wang was welcomed by the College of Education’s acting Principal, Prof. Cyprien NIYOMUGABO. In his remarks, he made an overview of the University of Rwanda, College of Education. He particularly talked about different undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered by the College and other initiatives taken in quest of meeting the country’s needs as far as its mandate is concerned. ‘’The aim of the University of Rwanda, College of Education is to avail professionals who can transform the country through education’’, he noted.
In her remarks, the World Bank’s delegate noted, ‘’basic education is very much related to higher education, particularly teachers, because teachers are from higher education and TTCs, which are the umbrella of the College of Education. We are preparing this project according to the Government of Rwanda and the World Bank’s arrangement discussions’’.
She added, ‘’it should be a comprehensive project because the country [Rwanda] is very ambitious for the socio-economic development’’. She continued saying, ‘’ Education is the foundation for human capital development, and basic education is the foundation of education’’. Mrs. Lianqin further noted, ‘’We want to put more resources into basic education from early childhood education to secondary’’.
Mrs. Lianqin Wang, Lead Education Specialist, World Bank
The Lead Education Specialist disclosed that she needed to learn a lot on the scope of the project. ‘’’We identified priorities with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, which include the early learning foundations’’, she said. These priorities include; the early learning foundation( early childhood education and early grades of primary education), improving progression from primary to lower secondary, improving English and digital skills for students as well as teachers and the capacity development, among others.
Mrs. Lianqin Wang held discussions with the acting Principal and other education experts
Participants in the discussions on the side of UR-CE also included; the Director of the African Centre of Excellence for Innovative Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science (ACEITLMS), Prof. L.L YADAV; the Deputy Dean, School of Education, Dr. Celestin KAYONGA; Dr. Pheneas NKUNDABAKURA, Senior Lecturer of Physics and Coordinator, MS4SSA; Dr. Innocent TWAGIRIMANA, Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Foundations, Management and Curriculum Studies; Dr. Leon MUGABO, Head, Teaching and Learning, ACEITLM; Dr. Alphonse UWORWABAYEHO, Head, Early Childhood and Primary Education, and the Executive Assistant to the Principal, Mr. BIGABO Fiston.
The World Bank’s delegate requested participants, as experts in education, to help identify critical areas for the project’s interventions. ‘’ The purpose to be here is to listen to you, to hear your needs to help improve education system, particularly how to improve the pre-service training and how to contribute to the continuous professional development’’, she said.
A floor was given to the participants in the discussions in order to indicate critical areas which need to be scaled up through the project’s support. Identified areas included; the capacity building of the staff in the department of Early Childhood Education and Primary Education; assessment of early childhood education programs used across the country; innovative pedagogy in teaching mathematics and science; development of English language proficiency among the staff and the students; digital platform in teaching and learning; Continuous Professional Development program (CPD Program); school attachment program and action research; demonstration schools and development of interactive learning methods, among others.
As a way forward, both parties agreed on that a team of three experts be tasked with the elaboration of a concept document entailing critical areas which need to be included in the project’s intervention.
In his closing remarks, Prof. Cyprien NIYOMUGABO expressed gratitude to the visit of the Lead Education Specialist to the University of Rwanda, College of Education. He also commended the World Bank for the relevancy of the project aimed to support basic education in Rwanda.
Mrs.Lianqin Wang visited the College Library
Public Relations and Protocol Officer
University of Rwanda, College of Education