19.05.2017 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

UNESCO and the Rwanda Education Board organize three-day multi-level stakeholder consultative meetings in Kigali to inform the Rwandan Teacher Development Framework

Workshop participants for informing the Rwandan Teacher Development Framework, Copyright UNESCO 2017.

4 - 6 May 2017, UNESCO, in partnership with the Rwanda Education Board (REB) and , through the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), organized a three-day consultative meeting to inform the new Rwandan Teacher Development Framework for primary and secondary education. The Framework led by REB, with technical assistance from UNESCO, aims to support efforts to enhance the teacher development system in Rwanda including both initial teacher education, continuous professional development and teacher management to ensure efficiency and maximize educational outputs. This initiative is key in terms of efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), in particular SDG4 and the role of teachers in ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education.

Given the advent of the new competency-based curriculum, new policy initiatives and a perceived misalignment between pre- and in-service teacher training in primary and secondary education, REB and UNESCO decided to cooperate to develop a new teacher development framework to support rapid and effective assessment of teacher development needs, streamline the delivery of training, maximize efficiency in delivery, and minimize duplication.

In 2016, a situational analysis on teacher development conducted with support of UNESCO emphasized three main areas to be addressed:

i) Improving the common understanding of how key terms and concepts are used across the education system and reduce inconsistency which may lead to confusion and undermine change efforts;

ii) Mapping the system since teachers want to understand how they can progress in the profession, including various career pathways open to them, available resources and other professional support (e.g., networks, professional associations); meanwhile teacher education providers want to understand how they can get courses accredited as well as how to better reach teachers; lastly educational planners and policy makers want to ensure resources are equitably distributed and that local and national priorities are supported by current activities; and

iii) Enabling change because while educational quality appears to be increasing, teaching and learning going forward requires qualitatively different ways of working since it is not clear what educational quality ‘looks like’ in different schools settings and will differ depending on the priorities, abilities, resources and needs of students and teachers, and the schools and communities they operate in.

The consultative meetings held were participatory in nature and assembled 58 education leaders from central, district and school levels, respectively. The central level meeting brought together the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) and REB, the Higher Education Council (HEC), relevant departments of the University of Rwanda, College of Education (URCE), and development partners. The district level grouped decentralized entities—in particular, District and Sector Education Offices (DEO and SEOs) from Gasabo District in Kigali as well as representatives from non-governmental civil society resource providers and faith-based organizations. Finally, the third consultative meeting gathered school level representatives from the same district including school leaders, teachers and parents.

These three consultative meetings were interactive and participants agreed objectives were met. In summary, it provided valuable opportunity to build understanding of and support for the teacher development framework. Relevant initiatives were identified and recommendations gathered for how the Framework can support and strengthen the existing system. Moreover, participants volunteered to be part of piloting the Framework in schools and sectors over the coming months. Finally, they were encouraged that their inputs and contributions towards a new and more effective teacher development system, teacher professionalism, and education transformation in Rwanda were valued.

The Strengthening Quality Teaching and Learning for Education for All in Eastern Africa project (2015-2017) aims to strengthen national capacities to ensure quality teaching and learning in Rwanda and Madagascar. It is developed within the framework of cooperation between UNESCO and the Government of Rwanda through the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). The project is aligned with the Education 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 4 on Education, the Global Education First Initiative, and the Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action (http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/incheon-framework-for-action-en.pdf)

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