19.06.2018 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

Enhancing teacher training and development in Rwanda: A continuing professional development (CPD) framework for basic education

District Directors of Education (DDEs) and Sector Education Officers (SEOs) assemble in Muhanga to strengthen institutional capacity to improve effectiveness and efficiencies in teacher training and development, Copyright UNESCO 2018.

11-14 June 2018, Muhanga, Rwanda – The Rwanda Education Board (REB), supported by UNESCO, and through the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), organized two training and consultative meetings to build institutional capacity to use the newly developed REB Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Framework targeting teachers in basic education. The CPD Framework was conceptualized to better harmonise teacher training initiatives in Rwanda; in particular by helping various stakeholders to assess current teacher capacity based on competencies and inform training plans to improve teaching capacity, teaching and learning processes, and ultimately student outcomes.

Teacher CPD includes initial teacher education, school-based teacher development and aspects of teacher management concerned with performance. Therefore, the CPD Framework is relevant for teachers, mentors, school leadership, Sector and District Education Officers, teacher training colleges, development partners, staff at REB and University of Rwanda, College of Education (UR-CE), and tutors and students.

The impact of the Framework depends upon the extent to which it is understood and applied consistently across the education system. As such training to build awareness and understanding of the framework to apply it across various work contexts is required. In the first component of the workshop (11-12 June), REB assembled 30 District Directors of Education (DDEs) and about 200 Sector Education Officers (SEOs) from across Rwanda to build participants’ capacity. It also served as a consultation process to gather final comments from local end-users to ensure that it met requirements regarding professional development.

The Framework aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teacher CPD in Rwanda through defining key terms, roles, standards, principles, processes and tools for teacher development. By the end of the workshop, these participants had achieved the following learning outcomes:

1. Improved knowledge to describe the contents of the National Teacher CPD Framework in some detail in relation to their work context;

2. Emerging action plans to guide in the implementation of the National Teacher CPD Framework in their own specific contexts; and

3. Emerging system to gather feedback on implementation over the next 12 months.

Sector Education Officers have an official role in overseeing professional development aspects of their sector schools. SEOs trained in the workshop will play a vital role in training head teachers to use the CPD Framework and to ensure that is being correctly implemented.

The second component of the workshop, from 13-14 June, included 25 individuals from the National Level including REB, Ministry of Education (MINEDUC), UR-CE, and development partners (DPs). Combining stakeholders, this 2-day session provided further opportunity for institutional capacity building and final feedback on the CPD framework and how it may be used effectively at the national level. Given the number of development partners involved in teacher development in Rwanda, and the high stakes nature of this document, the meeting also fostered wider support for the framework and helped DPs understand its use in relation to their interventions.

Existing CPD administrative and technical support structures will be used for ongoing support to implement and monitor implementation. This will help participants to apply the framework within their work contexts, to learn from their experience and provide valuable feedback to REB for improving the framework in the future. For example, within schools head teachers, deputy head teachers and mentors will assist teachers to apply it; while SEOS and peer support networks will support head teachers.

The Strengthening Quality Teaching and Learning for Education for All in Eastern Africa project 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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