Working to improve learning outcomes in English and Mathematics for 4.2 million children in Rwanda
Musabyimana Felicite and the Marere Club

Felicite is a Head teacher of G.S Kabirizi which is located in Karembo sector, Ngoma District of Eastern Rwanda. She is a BLF National Leader of Learning. In this story she talks about how she initiated a club that aims at protecting the environment and making teaching and learning materials. Read her story.

My name is MUSABYIMANA Felicite. I am a head teacher at GS Kabirizi. I have been involved with BLF since 2017 as a National Leader of learning. After being trained on how to make our own learning materials, I got an idea of creating a club that does recycling of things we do not use.Recycling means converting waste material into something usable.Together with teachers and neighbouring community we named our club Marere Club.

The aim of the Marere Club is to turn waste into new material or product and reuse them as teaching aids and maintain an everlasting green and clean school as well as educating children about the importance of maintaining a clean enviroment thereby decrease universal carbon emissions.

Another reason for creating Marere Club was due to the fact the children litter around paper in the school yard making it look dirty. I called upon all and taught them how those papers can be recycled and reused.

I advised them not to throw away any of their old papers because for example out dated calendars can be used to practice number writing, multiplication tables, and learning roman numerals. Old textbooks can be used to practice important skills, such as having students find and circle vocabulary words, verbs, and nouns, or reinforcing grammar and punctuation.

Under the guidance of the BLF staff, we come together every week as teachers, learners and community members to learn how to make low or no cost teaching and learning materials from old cardboard, bottle tops, plastic bottles and scrap paper. We create materials for use in class and even items for the playground such as small footballs.

                                                Self made Mathematics learning materials hang in P2 a class

The learners and community members make “show me boards” from old cardboard. We have even introduced “numeracy corners” in classrooms where teachers and learners can use and manipulate materials to support their mathematical understanding.

Making these low-cost materials has saved the school a lot of money which would have otherwise been used to buy expensive learning materials.I encourage parents through the meeting with the school general assembly committee to always bring to school empty plastic water bottles, cups, containers, cartons, old cardboards baskets, boxes, pawns, paper towels, and plastic lids so that they can be recycled by Marere club members.

My plan is to share this innovative idea with my fellow head teachers (local leaders of learning) in Ngoma district to through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) so that they can emulate and create their own materials at no cost.

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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