GOODNEWS: Rwanda gives free laptops to all its 89,000 teachers.
Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB) has embarked on deploying laptops to all teachers in public schools under the “One Laptop per Teacher” initiative.
The distribution of the laptaps was launched on April 16, from five secondary schools in Gatsibo District.
According to a statement from REB, the deployment plan will target all teachers from all schools countrywide.
“The deployment of One Laptop per Teacher is in line with strengthening the relevance of education through ICT integration in teaching and learning as stipulated in ICT in Education policy,” REB says.
In a letter signed by REB Director-General, Nelson Mbarushimana, he has requested all district mayors to communicate and authorize the headteachers of selected schools to collect the laptops from REB headquarters.
He said that the deployment of the laptops will start from 120 secondary schools from all districts countrywide.
The headteachers from Kigali city and Northern Province will collect the laptops on April 20, those from Southern Province will collect theirs on April 21 while headteachers in Eastern and Western provinces will collect the laptops on April 22 and April 23 respectively.
Upon receiving the laptop, a teacher signs an agreement to take care of the tool.
According to the latest education statistics available on the education ministry’s website, there were 6,931 teaching staff in nursery schools of whom 10.9 percent are in public schools, 32 per cent in government-aided schools and 57 percent in private schools.
There are 43,878 teaching staff in primary school of whom 28.1 per cent are in public schools, 61 per cent in government-aided schools and 11 percent in private schools.
In secondary schools, there are 23,565 teaching staff, of whom 51 percent are government-aided schools, 31 percent in public schools and 17.7 per cent in private schools.
Teachers speak out
Gilbert Manishimwe, The headteacher of G.S Nyarubuye-Kabarore in Gatsibo district welcomed the initiative, saying it will improve teachers’ performance and learning among students.
“The laptops will help us to have smart classrooms. With the laptop, the teachers will be able to adequately prepare lessons because we will have access to all books online. In the smart classrooms, teachers can deliver lessons without even using chalks but by presenting a lesson using the laptop,” he said.
He said that for schools that have no laboratories and enough libraries and books, the laptops are going to facilitate.
“If a school has no laboratory like our school, the teacher can download a lesson with experiments and help students to understand in a practical way. The initiative will also boost both teachers and students’ skills in computers.
We have seven teachers at our school because the school is still growing with only senior one and senior three. We have been assured that primary school teachers will also get the tools later,” he said.
Emmanuel Sibomana, The Head Teacher at G.S Nyamirama said that all 25 teachers have received laptops.
“A teacher with the provided laptop will not need a library because the laptop itself is a library. It is a good initiative because we already have two smart classrooms with 100 computers. If a child has a machine and a teacher has also a laptop that can help them prepare lessons when they are even at home, it will improve quality education,” he said.
He said that the laptops have programs and content from Primary one to senior six secondary school.
Government seeks to equip schools with computers and access to the internet, on the belief that ICT is a tool that will transform the country’s education system through the digitalisation of academic materials.
Launched in 2018, the smart classroom project had targeted to establish smart classrooms in 1,500 schools by 2020.