Rwandan project moves forward

16 February 2012

Ellie Kirby, IOP Coordinator for Rwanda, reports on her latest visit to Africa.

Rwandan project moves forward

In Autumn 2011 I made my second visit to Rwanda as an IOP volunteer. Along with my fellow Coordinator, Mike Vella, and Francis Gatete, the manager of the IOP workshop in Rwanda, I delivered training, distributed equipment and met with local teachers and government representatives.

Teacher Training Course
We delivered another successful training course to local teachers. 187 science and maths teachers from all over Rwanda, 47 with physics as their subject specialism, were invited to stay and study at Lycee De Kigali. Francis and I ran the course along with JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) and TSC (Teacher Service Commission).

The course was an in service SMASE (Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education), which lasted for 10 days. This included 3 days of general training in teaching methodologies which included Blooms taxonomy, assessment and lesson planning, and 7 days where the teachers were split into their specialism groups and shown how to apply the new methods and also how to improvise experiments.

Rwandan project moves forward

Distribution of Equipment from the the IOP
We brought equipment with us from the UK that could be used to set up experiments in the classroom. Once in Rwanda, we spent time testing the experiments and finding a few more resources to make them easier to improvise if teachers had extremely limited resources. During the course Francis and I demonstrated all the experiments that could be done with the equipment. We then gave out 24 sets of equipment and instruction sheets to the teachers on the course and compiled a list of others that will receive equipment over the next 6 months.

Links with the IOP Project in Uganda
I also went Uganda to visit the seminary at Bukinda where Stephen Wright was doing a teacher training course for a number of Ugandan physics teachers for 5 days(?). The course included many A Level experiments which the staff had designed or put together and were designed to develop thinking skills in students even if the experiments weren't directly on the syllabus. I could only stay a short time but made friends with the priests and teachers and took part in some training.