15 Mar 2022
The University of Rwanda-College of Education in collaboration with Rwanda Basic Education (REB) have undertaken a training of four (4) level-based CPD modules that have been developed for primary and secondary school teachers in all districts. These CPDs are organized into four subjects including : (1) Pedagogy and Instruction ; (2) Measurement and Assessment ; (3) Inclusive Education ; and (4) Self-awareness and Values Formation.
The four( 4) modules have been developed, validated and uploaded on REB e-learning platform to enable a large number of Rwandan teachers to acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they need for improving their teaching profession in Rwanda. This CPD program aims to train a targeted population of 3,000 in-service primary and secondary school teachers. Upon completion of these courses, successful candidates will be awarded a Continuous Professional Development Diploma in Quality Inclusive Education. These professional development activities aim to equip teachers with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to address the complex challenges within the teaching and learning environment that is increasingly changing and becoming more complex.
The program is financially supported by the Rwanda Quality Basic Education for Human Capital Development project, which received an additional 10 million USD from the Global Partnership for Education Fund through the World Bank in order to implement sub-component 4.1, that is for optimizing and implementing remote approaches for continued learning, well-being and resilience. As noted by Dr. Gonzague Habinshuti, the Coordinator of this project, sub-component 4.1, the main goal of the project is to support the national COVID-19 response plan for continued learning by presenting overwhelming evidence pointing to CPDs being part of the solution to overcome the teacher retention crisis.
Introduction to Blended Learning
During the phase of face to face sessions, the participants were first inducted to the CPD program, academic program and expectations. With the facilitation of IT team, they were introduced to the blended learning mode which has been scheduled to be the delivery mode of the courses. With the REB e-learning Platform, they were guided on how to login and create a class, lessons and enroll students, and other online learning operations.
Module of Pedagogy and Instruction
With the module of Pedagogy and Instruction, Primary School teachers were introduced to a number of knowledge, qualities, skills and responsibilities necessary for a teacher in a school and the frame through which they need to go to become an effective teacher.
In fact, teaching is founded on (i) behaviorism to shape learners’ behavior, (ii) cognitivism to develop intellectual abilities, (iii) constructivism to allow learners build or construct their own knowledge which is meaningful, and (iv) social learning as education is by nature a social activity. On the other side, motivation, activity, concretization, individualization, progression, co-operation and transfer have been highlighted as the basic teaching and learning principles.
Again, with the module of Pedagogy and Instruction, secondary school teachers were taken through fundamental theories and principles of learning and teaching and their application in the classroom setting. Presentations and activities done by the participants are related to the competence-based curriculum implementation in the classroom. While implementing the CBC, a teacher has to make sure that all competences and all cross-cutting issues are well tackled.
As far as the module of Measurement and Assessment is concerned, Primary schools teachers learnt that teaching and learning is a process of bringing desirable behavioral changes in the individuals and determining the achievement of those desirable behaviors. A teacher who deals with any subject should assess learning based on clearly stated instructional objectives ; ensure that assessments are fair, reliable, objective, and well administered.
In the interest of Secondary school teachers, facilitators introduced them to key concepts like measurement, assessment, evaluation, testing and examination, Competence based assessment. They gained insight into the importance of measurement, assessment and evaluation in teaching and learning, and types of assessment. They were also briefed on the domains of instructional objectives that guide teaching and learning assessment, how the domains of instructional objectives are applied in competence-based assessment ; and assessment tools for effective assessment of student learning.
Module of Self-awareness and Values Formation
With regard to Self awareness and Values Formation, presentations, activities and discussions done focused on self-awareness, values formation and professional ethics which are seen as laying the foundations for teachers’ and learners’ behavior both at school and in Rwandan society at large. Participants acquired knowledge, skills and attitudes required to develop personal moral values commensurate with the teacher code of conduct and the advancement of the teaching profession. It is therefore expected that teachers will be able to promote the development of self-awareness skills and personal moral values in learners.
Module of Inclusive Education
As far as Inclusive Education is concerned, trainees were introduced to key concepts used in inclusive education, golden rules of inclusive education, the basics of inclusive education, special educational needs identification, assessment and intervention. They learnt how to respond to different special needs educational needs, alternative communication skills such as the basics in Braille and tactile resources and the development of accessible teaching and learning materials. Participants also got the opportunity to learn Rwandan Sign Language. Please watch the related documentary film by clicking on the following : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJsgNvgnyc8
Public Relations and Community Engagement Officer
University of Rwanda-College of Education