14 Apr 2021
Leaders in Teaching Initiative Project support to UR-CE academic staff expected to drive change in teacher education
In 2018, MasterCard Foundation signed a contract with the University of Rwanda to implement “Leaders in Teaching (LIT) Initiative Project with the purpose of building the capacity of the College of Education’s academic staff and pre-service teachers. Recently, the project sponsored the organization of a 3- day training workshop of supervisors of practicum and school attachment. Following the interview conducted with randomly sampled participants, the workshop has achieved the participants’ expectations. They are optimistic that the project will empower them to improve teacher education.
While briefing the participants on the LIT project, Associate Professor Wenceslas NZABALIRWA who is the LIT Project Academic Lead highlighted that “UR-CE lecturers are the project’s main stakeholders and key beneficiaries.’’ You are the persons for whom the project was conceived. We therefore hope that it will contribute a lot to your capacity building,’’ he added.
In his remarks during the official opening of the workshop, Dr. Florien Nsanganwimana, the College acting Principal urged the participants to take advantage of the opportunities offered to them by the project in order to drive change in teacher education. He reminded them that, as teachers, they are agents of change who are expected to play a significant role for the country’s development. “We have to be pro-active in finding out solutions to the challenges we face in assuming our roles as teachers, because the country expects a lot from us’’, he said. I hope that during this 3-day workshop, we will learn from one another and we will commit to improve the quality of teacher education at UR-CE. I believe that LIT project will enable us to achieve tangible results,’’ he added.
The participants said that they reached a common ground on handling issues encountered in the supervision of practicum and school attachment and guiding action research report writing.
“This workshop really helped me understand what to do and what to improve on what I have been doing during the school attachment supervision. We discussed many issues and came up with different recommendations to UR-CE management so that they can improve the planning about school attachment supervision,’’ said Mukasibo Lainilde, who is a tutorial assistant.
Dr. Michael Tusiime Rwibasira, who is a lecturer, admitted that what he expected from the workshop was achieved. According to him, its objectives were basically to ensure that all UR-CE lecturers have a harmonized understanding of the practicum and school attachment. “We are glad that from the discussions we held there have been very brilliant ideas and recommendations which will inform decision-making processes in order to move forward to improving teacher education at UR-CE. I am very happy that the workshop was conducted", he argued.
‘’Before I attend this workshop, I thought it would be a platform where lecturers could share ideas as a kind of continuous professional development (CPD), where we share best practices. We really shared our experiences on the nature of teaching and learning, supervision of school attachment, action research and so on,’’ said Barthelemy Bizimana who is an assistant lecturer.
Dr. Cyprien Tabaro, who is a senior lecturer, corroborated his colleagues. He said that they explored key concepts which could confuse people such as practicum and school attachment. “I hope that in the near future we shall be doing well our work, especially liaising with student-teachers and head teachers so that we come up at the end with very good trained teachers’’, he concluded.
Dr. Ntawiha Philothere, a lecturer and the Coordinator of School Attachment in the School of Education, as well as the Coordinator of Practicum in LIT Project added : “The objectives of the workshop have been achieved at almost 100%. My entire satisfaction is based on the fact that the attendance was high, the participants’ active participation, and the facilitators’ great job,’’ he elucidated. He went on to say that the participants got knowledge and understanding of different concepts, different activities in relation to the school attachment and practicum. “There is henceforth a common understanding that has been established among the participants on the way forward to properly supporting our student-teachers more effectively,” he added.
Sections of participants in Nyagatare ( photo1) and Rukara Campuses (Photo 2)
It is expected that LIT project will strengthen the UR-CE’s capacity to provide pre-service teacher training on Rwanda’s competence-based curriculum (CBC) through needs-based training for academic staff ; provide practicum opportunities for pre-service teachers to allow them put theory into practice and strengthen the mentorship and support they receive from CE academic staff ; strengthen the integration of ICT in teaching and learning, providing training in the use of SMART classroom technology and supporting the development of digital content for online and blended courses ; and support academic staff to strengthen their research skills through tailored training, academic exchange and opportunities to undertake research on secondary education themes through competitive research funding.
Please open the following links to watch the videos related to the training :
Part 1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOvwUKyh65g&t=3s
Part 2 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRZCm6JDSMk&t=30s
Part 3 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvTrmXZZH_o&t=172s
Part 4 : https://www.youtube.com/watch ?
Part5 : https://www.youtube.com/watch ?
Part 6 : https://www.youtube.com/watch ?
Part 7 : https://www.youtube.com/watch ?
Part 8 : https://www.youtube.com/watch ?
Public Relations and Community Engagement Officer
University of Rwanda-College of Education