Education officials are working behind schedule to provide computers and internet to technical and vocational training centers (TVET).
The equipment will enable schools to move to blended learning where digital materials will help trainers visualize content for trainees to understand seamlessly.
The Ministry of Education is looking forward to spreading computers and internet to 60% of TVET schools in Rwanda this year compared to the current rate of 53%.
This achievement will be boosted, among others, by the efforts of partners who have designed successful projects such as Building Resilience in TVET through e-Learning commonly known by its acronym – BRITE.
BRITE is a project implemented by Education Development Center (EDC) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.
Secretary of State for TVET at the Ministry of National Education Claudette Irère said on Wednesday March 23 that BRITE has succeeded in digitizing content by leaving the government to provide the computers and Internet infrastructure.
While visiting Gatsibo TVET in Gatsibo-Eastern Province District to see if schools are ready to adopt this technology in school, Irere said that BRITE started outside the classroom last year and that she wanted to see how it worked in academia and how they can fit into all programs holistically.
She promised the support of the government to provide all the tools necessary for its proper functioning.
“It is our duty as a government to provide computers and the Internet. We have worked on it and we will not back down,” Irere said.
“We plan to equip 60% of TVET schools,” Irere said.
The Mastercard Foundation. The latter is grateful that the project is bearing fruit.
Ruth Mukakimenyi, program partner in charge of the Leaders In Teaching initiative at the Mastercard Foundation recalls that the project began during the COVID-19 pandemic and was useful at a time when physical classes were closed.
She said she was happy to see that students are enjoying content that they can use at school and at home.
“Students will not only have content at their fingertips, but will also be able to develop critical thinking and enhance their creativity,” Mukakimenyi said.
Gatsibo TVET has only 50 computers serving 388 students, hence the school’s request for more computers.
Digital learning is especially vital at this school which offers electrical, highway engineering, construction, and surveying programs.
According to Yedidiya Senzeyi Aimee, deputy leader of the BRITE party, e-learning does not replace face-to-face, it rather reinforces what is already in place.
“We are actually moving towards blended learning. Blended learning has proven effective for both trainees and trainers,” she said.
Some content is difficult to teach for trainers to explain to students if they can’t see how it works. There, technology comes to fill that gap,” said Alejandra Bonifaz, party leader and national director of EDC.
The trainees on their side have started to feel the difference.
“With this technology, we combine theory and practice. It’s easier when the teacher says something and then shows it. Course review is also made easier,” says Ongara Steven from Level 4, Electricity at Gatsibo TVET.