School reopening, knowledge and experience sharing for teachers in Africa: The case of Rwanda

Wednesday, 28 October 2020, UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) hosted a webinar on “School reopening, knowledge and experience sharing for teachers in Africa: The case of Rwanda”. This webinar was part of a series of webinars that IICBA, whose mandate is to strengthen teacher policy and development in Africa, has been organising since the onset of COVID-19 and the subsequent school closure in Africa. The purpose of these webinars is to enable exchange and sharing of knowledge, experiences and lessons learned in the process of school reopening. The webinar of 28 October 2020 was attended by almost 30 education stakeholders and experts, including Ms. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, the Director of the UNESCO's Multi-sectoral Office in East Africa.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki, IICBA Director, introduced the webinar theme and the Open and Distance Learning for Teachers in Africa (ODLTA) course developed by IICBA and its partners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The course intends to develop distance learning capacity among teachers in Africa.

With the moderation of the Project Officer at UNESCO IICBA, Dr. Bernard Nkuyubwatsi, four speakers shared their experience and lessons learned in the process of school reopening: Dr Florien Nsanganwimana, the Acting Principal of the University of Rwanda College of Education; Dr Edwidge Kampire, Teacher Educator, the University of Rwanda College of Education; Mr Alexis Habineza, the Deputy Head Teacher, the Institut Sainte Famille, Nyamasheke District, Western Province, Rwanda; and Mr Theophile Sangano, the Deputy Head Teacher, Groupe Scolaire Saint Joseph, Nyamasheke District, Western Province, Rwanda. Their presentations outlined measures put in place by the Ministry of Education in Rwanda as well as their respective institutions to ensure a safe reopening of schools, challenges faced by teachers and learners in reopening schools and distance learning as well as solutions adopted to deal with those challenges.

In the Q&A session, participants actively interacted with the speakers and asked questions about teacher training, psycho-social support to teachers and students, community involvement and collaboration between different education stakeholders in Rwanda in facilitating safe school reopening. The webinar concluded with closing remarks by Mr. Saliou Sall, Senior Programme Coordinator at IICBA, who expressed gratitude to all participants and underlined the importance of supporting the motivation and well-being of teachers during and after school reopening. He shared recommendations to ensure psychosocial support to teachers and learners and ensure their safety and wellbeing.

For further information, please click the link to the webinar recording: