On 16 September, with VVOB’s support, the Rwandan Ministry of Education, Rwanda Education Board and the University of Rwanda College of Education launched a continuous professional development (CPD) diploma course in Effective School Leadership for school leaders in 14 districts.
The Honorable Minister of State in charge of primary and secondary education in the Ministry of Education Dr Isaac Munyakazi opened the first of the three planned cohorts in Rubavu district, Western Province, urging school leaders enrolled in the diploma course to be agents of change.
“A good leader always dreams of change, is a change agent. As a leader you should inspire and influence the people you lead towards positive change. A leader is someone who does much and talks less, what you do matters rather than what you say, you need to lead by example”, he advised.
Transforming teaching and learning
The four-credit diploma course is part of VVOB’s programme Leading, Teaching and Learning Together (LTLT)—Umusemburo w’Ireme ry’Uburezi. LTLT is designed to improve educational services for school leaders and teachers to support them in the implementation of the competence-based curriculum. The diploma course in Effective School Leadership equips head teachers and deputy head teachers with the competences to fulfil their roles as school leaders.
Last year, LTLT launched in primary schools in four districts in Eastern Province and two districts in Western Province. In 2018, and as part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Leaders in Teaching Initiative of the Mastercard Foundation, the programme has been extended to 14 additional districts with an overlap of three districts. By 2021, another 2,000 school leaders – and their pupils – will have benefitted from this diploma course.
The Mastercard Foundation’s Leaders in Teaching is an initiative that transforms teaching and learning in secondary education across Africa so young people have the skills and competencies they need to succeed in work and life. The Leaders in Teaching initiative is implemented by several partners including VVOB, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and the University of Rwanda College of Education, in close partnership with the Rwanda Education Board.
Head teacher Mutabeshya encourages his colleagues
Mutabeshya Celestin is a head teacher at G.S Mugongo secondary school in Rubavu Ditrict. He graduated during VVOB’s programme (2014-2016), which also focussed on effective school leadership. Now that his colleagues have started the diploma course, Mr Mutabeshya inspires them about how the training improved his leadership skills.
The Ministry needs change in school leadership
According to Minister Munyakazi, school leaders enrolled in this diploma course should be evaluated to ensure they apply the new knowledge and skills acquired in the training.
“What matters is not necessarily the number of head teachers trained, we need to see change in the school leadership. Eventually, we will visit your respective schools to assess how you put what you’re learning here into practice. We need effective leaders in all schools as this is key to improving the quality of education. You will be judged on what you do”, Honorable Munyakazi told 31 secondary school leaders from Rubavu district.
Over 600 head teachers and deputy head teachers of 17 districts will start the CPD diploma course this year. Between 2018 and 2021, all head teachers from primary schools in six districts and all head teachers and deputy head teachers from secondary schools in 14 districts will take part in the one-year programme. During this period, about 2,000 school leaders from more than 1,200 schools will be trained.
In addition to the diploma course in Effective School Leadership, those schools will benefit from various CPD programmes. These include certificate courses in Educational Mentorship and Coaching for school-based mentors, sector education officers and teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The CPD programmes are designed to equip school leaders, mentor teachers, education officers and STEM teachers with effective tools and skills to lead schools, conduct mentorship and coaching activities in schools, to improve learning outcomes.
For the Director General of Rwanda Education Board, Dr Irénée Ndayambaje, these programmes come at the right time. “From Rwanda’s education perspective, such programmes echo our effort and mandate. We have a specific unit for school leadership and teacher development and such interventions help us achieve our mission”, he said.