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Achieved results

Under its four components, LIT program has implemented several activities, having others in pipeline and other not yet implemented .
2. Current Status of Activities under different component
PRACTICUM  :
a. Training 842 School mentors and 170 URCE School attachment supervisors
b. 3333 pre-service teachers Conducted School visits and classroom observation
c. Review classroom observation tools was done
d. Review specific teaching methods tools was done
e. Establish micro teaching Laboratory at UR CE is ongoing

COMPETENCE BASED CURRICULUM
a. Revision of Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PGCLTHE) was done but not yet approved the UR CE ORGANS
b. Needs assessment on understanding of CBC at URCE was done
c. Training of trainers on CBC pedagogy not yet done
d. Development of training & assessment materials on CBC pedagogy was done
e. Production of training materials was done ?
Integration of ICT in teaching and Learning :
a. Conducted preliminary survey of usage of blended mode at URCE
b. Conducted the needs assessment on DMU
c. Establishment of digital media unit at URCE is ongoing
d. Training of ICT champions on the development of digital content not yet done
e. Training on the use of Digital Media Unit not yet done
f. Train URCE lecturers on online pedagogies not yet done
g. Pilot blended mode lessons not yet done
h. Establishment of digital module repository not yet completed .
i. Establishment of two model smart classrooms was done but not yet officially Launched
j. Digitalizing existing offline contents is ongoing
k. Training of E-Learning Officers on Multimedia System Production not yet done
l. Facilitated the College to get essential teaching and Learning tools like the School of inclusive and special needs got specialized equipment , geographical teaching tools were purchased and installed, Computer Labs were established both at Nyagatare and Rukara Campus were established and equipped with 60 and 50 desktops respectively.
m. The Program purchased Laptops for URCE Lecturers to facilitate them in the blended teaching and learning
n. The Program has supported the College to upgrade the internet system by purchasing the cabling materials , servers and switches .

RESEARCH SKILLS CAPACITY BUILDING  :
a. Training of research champions on research and grant proposal writing not yet done
b. Train URCE staff on research and grant proposal writing not yet done.
c. Award competitive research grants to academic staff to conduct thematic research was partially done as 9 were awarded out of 20 grants planned for the whole period .
d. Organize research dissemination workshop or conferences . The first conference will be organized in January 2023
e. Carry out Project evaluation at the end of the project not yet done
f. Tracer suryer not yet done as it will be done at the end of the program

DIFFERENT STORIES ON LIT ACHIEVEMENTS AS RETOLD BY RESPECTIVE COMPONENTS COORDINATORS


A. PRACTICUM COMPONENT

Interview with Prof. Ndabaga Eugene-Director of Research and Innovation UR-CE

WHAT IS YOUR CORE ROLE IN THE PROJECT ?
My role as coordinator of practicum is :
• To coordinate all the practicum activities in the areas of pre-service teachers practicum
• Develop a plan for activity implementation with clear goals, indicators and target
• Participate in the development of programs and production of training materials in the program areas.
• Participate in professional development and development of professional programs
• Identify critical areas for the program intervention.

WHAT ARE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS AND THEIR OUTCOMES AS REGARDS TO YOUR COMPONENT ?
So far the following are the deliverables achieved :
• Practicum manual that details modalities for the implementation of practicum was developed.
• Subject specific teaching methods were revised to integrate practicum activities.
• Training materials for both supervisors and school attachment mentors were developed
• MoU with hosting schools was drafted (although it is not yet signed) to establish a formal framework under which practicum and school attachment will be implemented ?
• 161 URCE supervisors were trained to build their capacity in relation to supervision and mentorship of student-teachers on practicum and school attachment
• 842 school attachment mentors were trained to build their capacity to supervise and mentor student-teachers on school attachment.
• 6374 student teachers participated in practicum activities (school visits, lesson observation, lesson delivery and assessment) to get school life experience.
Q3 : Are there challenges you may have faced in the implementation of the projects’ action plans that fall under your responsibilities ? If yes, what are they and what strategies were devised to address them ?
Challenges encountered and strategies to address them :
• Big number of student teachers to participate in practicum activities (last year we had around 3400 student teachers. This year we have around 2300 student teachers)
o Strategy to address this challenge : students were placed in all secondary schools throughout the country (initially practicum was to be conducted in schools around URCE campuses but due to the big number of students this could not be possible)
• Some schools are reluctant to receive student-teachers (some schools refuse to receive our student-teachers and some others accept them but want to receive one or two. This cannot work given the number of student teachers).
o Strategy : MoU to be signed to establish a formal framework for effective implementation of practicum.
• Commitment of student-teachers : Some student-teachers do not take practicum seriously. Some of them take it as a break rather than a make/learning experience.
o Strategy : strengthen monitoring of practicum activities
• Supervision : Given the number of student-teachers and the number of URCE supervisors, it is hard to supervise student-teachers on practicum effectively.
• Mismatch between school and academic calendar : there is mismatch between academic and school calendar. This affects the implementation of practicum activities. This is beyond the capacity of project implementation team, college, and UR.

B. RESEARCH COMPONENT

Interview with Prof. Ndabaga Eugene-Director of Research and Innovation UR-CE

Dear Prof. Ndabaga as a research coordinator of MCF-LIT project, what is your specific role there ?

Prof : The key role that I play in this project is all about coordinating research activities that aim at UR-CE academic staff capacity building ; junior, middle and senior staff inclusive. It has to be noted that, the gist of MCF –LIT project is to enhance UR-CE academic staff’s skills and capacities in areas of research at different levels : national and global.

We shall offer various trainings in research skills, competitive grant writing for big projects, publishing in peer reviewed journals and we also offer grants opportunities. Therefore we are deeply appreciative of MCF-LIT project for their funds

PRO : What has been done so far ?

Prof : Inspite of COvid-19 hindrances we have managed to award about 2 rounds of grants. Round one consisted of 7 grantees to conduct various researches based on national issues within UR-CE domain.

Round two consisted of 8 grantees. Grants cover both social natural sciencesareas. But natural science takes slightly higher funds due to its labarotory based work.

While conducting these researches ; the process is punctuated by short trainings on how to write competitive grants, how to produce publishable papers.

PRO : Do you still have more grants to offer ?

Prof : Yes, we still have some research grants funds. We also have some funds for big scale training of UR-CE academic research training in areas of research activities. We are aiming at training about 160 academic staff. This training was contracted to the University of Toronto in Canada.

PRO : What is your envisaged impact of this project and its activities on the Rwandan society ?

Prof : The impact is enormous. Like any other academic institution, one of UR-CE key mission is to conduct research.

You cannot talk about academic institution without talking about research. You can never divorce teaching from research. Research and teaching are distinct but not separate. Teaching is always informed by research. So the more skills and experiences our lecturers acquire by doing research, the more they will become better lecturers. These skills and better teaching that shall be acquired by our staff shall create strong impact even to our society in terms of carrying out consultancies for public and private sectors, writing papers, policy reviews and policy contribution to the Rwandan society,

PRO : Let us assume that you are asked to select two or one important research project that has been published. Which one would you choose, and if there is any, on which criteria would you base your selection ?

Prof. : In the first place we have not yet published any findings. The first shift is still finalizing their report. The second shift is just halfway. However, the issue of preference, I have have none because it is all important. All researches are important because they all have an impact on our society and a society is not developed by only one area of academic.

PRO : How do you work with the UR directorate of Research ?

Prof : UR is managed through decentralization system under specialized colleges. With this system, there is an over role Directorate of Research at the Headquarters and then each college there is a Directorate of Research. Whatever is done at the college level, it is done in collaboration with the headquarter. There is an administrative body called single project implementation unit (SPIU) responsible for day-to-day management or coordinating all UR projects received and run y various colleges. While an individual college guarantees quality of research results, SPIU makes sure that, the day-to-day management and project finance are well managed.
PRO : Do you have any further comment in line with your role ?

Prof : I would like to assure our colleagues internationally and locally that University of Rwanda and in particular College of education, we are very much ready to make sure that research becomes a very important and key component of our work. Academic excellence must always be evidence based.

B. LIT ACHIEVEMENTS UNDER ICT COMPONENT

Interview with Dr. Mathias Nduwingoma, the Director of the Centre of Open, Distance and eLearning ( CodeL), and LIT ICT Coordinator.

PRO : You are part of the management team of MasterCard Leaders in Teaching Initiative project. what is your core role ?

Dr. : My core role is to coordinate the ICT component in LIT. There are 4 main components : CBC, Practicum, Research, and ICT.
PRO : What are your achievements, and their outcomes as regards your component ?

Dr. : We achieved several activities, including
• Establishment of two Smart Classrooms with state of art materials that allow lecturers to conduct teaching that can be live broadcast.

One of the 2 Smart Classrooms estavlished at UR Rukara Campus

• The Server Room at Rukara Campus have been renovated with the repainting of the walls, the installation of 2 Air conditioners, supply, and installation of new a Rack, 2 All- in One Printers, 2 Big UPS and two Switches.
• Provision of 151 Laptops to academic staff. This helps the lecturers to well integrate ICT in teaching, learning, and assessment. The implementation of the Competence Based Curriculum approach in Education is facilitated where lecturers are required to digitalize their modules
• Provision of equipment for inclusive and special needs education students. It helps students with visual impairment to get good teaching materials and tools to facilitate their learning, teaching, and assessment.

• Provision of Geographical teaching tools. These tools allowed the Geography Subject to establish a laboratory with appropriate materials.
• Purchase of 4 servers that supported the upgrade of the UR eLearning platform. Two (2) servers are installed in the UR Datacenter, one at Busogo Campus for the sake of the Mirroring system and one at Rukara Campus for the Digital Repository.
• Provision of 110 computers to support Computer laboratories at Rukara Campus (60 computers) and Nyagatare Campus (50 computers). The Computer Lab at Nyagatare has been also improved in terms of computer networking.

ICT equipment donated by LIT to UR Nyagatare Campus improved networking

• Provision and cabling of Lecturers room, the Library, the School of Inclusive and Special Needs Education, and the Science Laboratories at Rukara Campus.

• There is also the ongoing establishment of a Digital Media Unit (DMU) and a Micro Teaching Room at Rukara Campus. This will supplement the existing Multimedia Studio at the Campus by allowing lecturers to produce digital interactive teaching materials to be inserted in their modules uploaded on the UR eLearning Platform

Visit to the Demonstration smart classroom at UR Rukara Campus on 24th August 2022. It brought together the team from MasterCard Foundation, AIMS Rwanda, LIT Program and UR-Rukara Campus.

Are there any challenges encountered in ICT component ?If yes, what are they and what strategies were devised to address them ?
• The procurement process takes too long at UR. This used to delay the delivery of most of the tenders. As a strategy, the SPIU Tender Committee to meet regularly.
• COVID-19 made the market of supply digital materials not available at the right time. As a strategy, UR and the Supplier negotiated the extension for delivery.
• The procurement process takes too long at UR. This used to delay the delivery of most of the tenders. As a strategy, the SPIU Tender Committee to meet regularly.

• COVID-19 made the market of digital materials supply not available at the right time. As a strategy, UR and the Supplier negotiated the extension for delivery.
• The training of academic staff in digital module production, as well as in multimedia production for eLearning Officers is delayed because of the Contract between UR and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

• As strategies, LIT should negotiate with Mastercard an extension that will allow the completion of this activity smoothly.

C, LIT ACHIEVEMENYS UNDER PRACTICUM COMPONENT

Dr. Philothere Ntawitha, the Head of Practicum component took us through his the component’s achievements
PRO : What is your core role in the project ?
Dr. Philo. : My role as coordinator of practicum is :
• To coordinate all the practicum activities in the areas of pre-service teachers practicum
• Develop a plan for activity implementation with clear goals, indicators, and target
• Participate in the development of programs and production of training materials in the program areas.
• Participate in professional development and development of professional programs
• Identify critical areas for the program intervention.

Sections of UR-CE lecturers attending training on supervision of School Attachment and Practicum/ March 2021

PRO : What are your achievements, and their outcomes as regards to your component ?

Dr. Philo. : So far, the following are the deliverables achieved :
• Practicum manual that details modalities for the implementation of practicum was developed.
• Subject specific teaching methods were revised to integrate practicum activities.
• Training materials for both supervisors and school attachment mentors were developed
• MoU with hosting schools was drafted (although it is not yet signed) to establish a formal framework under which practicum and school attachment will be implemented ?
• 161 URCE supervisors were trained to build their capacity in relation to supervision and mentorship of student-teachers on practicum and school attachment
• 842 school attachment mentors were trained to build their capacity to supervise and mentor student-teachers on school attachment.
• 6374 student teachers participated in practicum activities (school visits, lesson observation, lesson delivery and assessment) to get school life experience.
Are there challenges encountered in the implementation of the projects’ action plans that fall under your responsibilities ? If yes, what are they and what strategies were devised to address them ?

Briefing meeting of students on School Attachment/ February 2021

Challenges encountered and strategies to address them :
• Big number of student teachers to participate in practicum activities (last year we had around 3400 student teachers. This year we have around 2300 student teachers)
o Strategy to address this challenge : students were placed in all secondary schools throughout the country (initially practicum was to be conducted in schools around UR-CE campuses but due to the big number of students this could not be possible).

LIT ACHIEVEMENTS UNDER CBC COMPONENT

Professor Alphonse Uworwabayeho, the Head ofCBC component briefes his the component’s achievements

Prof Uworwabayeho : We revised the Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PGCLTHE). The remaining activity is the validation by college academic council, senate, and Higher Education Council.

We also cojnducted the Needs assessment on understanding of CBC at URCE was conducted for both academic staff and preservice teachers. Reports are available and shared by partners who will support the training of the academic staff.

PRO : Are there any challenges faced in the implementation of LIT activities under CBC ? If yes, what are they, and what is the way foward ?

Prof Uworwabayeho : The Training of trainers and other URCE faculty members on CBC pedagogy including (Development and production of training & assessment materials on CBC pedagogy scheduled to be done in collaboration with university of Toronto) was not carried out. This was due to due to delay in identifying and getting collaborating international institution to deliver training. However, basing on the recommendation from Mastercard foundation, the university of Rwanda has signed a collaboration agreement with University of Toronto in July, 2022.

I would also like to point out that the activity of Evaluation of CBC output, which was planned to be organized and conducted in the two last quarters of 2019 has not yet been implemented due to delay of some activities to deliver output. However, this activity will be done after implementing all activities under CBC component.

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