Working to improve learning outcomes in English and Mathematics for 4.2 million children in Rwanda
BLF’s English for Teaching course brings online language learning to rural Rwanda

As part of our UKAID funded Building Learning Foundations (BLF) programme in Rwanda, 1,598 lower-primary English teachers have completed a 6 months online English for Teaching (EfT) course.

This first phase of the course roll-out combined online self-study with live English lessons via video conferencing and was the first of its kind in Rwanda.  BLF provided tablets with 4G internet connection, and a team of 26 international e-moderators hosted the live sessions and supported teachers to complete the self-study part of the course.  88% of the teachers who took part in the course successfully passed and were awarded end-of-course certificates. 

As part of BLF’s sustainability strategy, 50 Rwandan school-based mentors also supported the teachers as locally-based online learning tutors.  The tutors have now completed a course in e-moderation and teaching live online through Consultants-E, in preparation to lead on course delivery to thousands more lower-primary teachers in phases 2 and 3.

Xaverina Niyoyita is a year 2 English teacher in Mugambazi primary school, located in the remote Rulindo District of northern Rwanda. She says that her confidence in English speaking has greatly increased because of the opportunity she got to practice her skills at the live sessions and in frequent discussions with her e-moderator.

“I have never had an interesting training course like this one offered by BLF since I joined the teaching profession 24 years ago. I could not imagine myself being able to hold a 10 minutes conversation in English with such confidence, but now you can hear how we can converse in English

Xaverina said that her experience has inspired her to start an English club in her school and continue engaging her colleagues to use more English around school. She was nervous at the start of the course as she had no experience in using this kind of technology, but by the end of the course she and her colleagues were more tech savy: “I didn’t know how to use email and to engage with others on the online forum, but thanks to our moderators now I am very good at using technology” Xaverina added.

BLF hopes to continue offering this course to teachers in all of Rwanda’s thirty districts over the next year, in order to meet its language proficiency goals of increasing the percentage of teachers across Rwanda with a minimum of B1 level English.

English language training for teachers is one strand of BLF’s support for improving learning outcomes in primary English and Mathematics. We also continue supporting teachers nationwide through school-based communities of practice, provision of self-study CPD toolkits, and provision of high-quality pupil activity books.

The Building Learning Foundations Programme (BLF) is a programme of the Rwanda Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) and Rwanda Education Board (REB); it is funded by the United Kingdom’s Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as part of its Learning for all Programme in Rwanda.
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