Rwandan teachers and Hartford English experts during the closing ceremony on Saturday. (Stephen Rwembeho)
Rwandan teachers and Hartford English experts during the closing ceremony on Saturday. (Stephen Rwembeho)

The team trained 143 teachers across the country in the first phase that ended on Saturday.

Rwandan teachers and Hartford English experts during the closing ceremony on Saturday. (Stephen Rwembeho)
Rwandan teachers and Hartford English experts during the closing ceremony on Saturday. (Stephen Rwembeho)

The teachers underwent an intensive course that lasted over three weeks.

The programme is sponsored by the Ministry of Education and the University of Hartford.
It was developed by the director of the Rwandan Teacher Education Programme, Joseph Olzacki, who is also an alumnus of the University of Hartford, in partnership with the Ministry of Education.

The three-year programme started this year with a group of 40 teachers travelling to Hartford University in the US in July where they spent almost a month.

Addressing the media in Rwamagana District, Olzacki said he had built a strategic partnership with the Rwandan government during the different programmes he has been involved in.

?I had been invited to give a speech at a Unesco event when I came to know about Rwanda and President Paul Kagame. Kagame is a progressive, and honest, incorruptible and reliable leader.

He is my idol and should also be yours,? he told the teachers at the closing ceremony.

Olzacki said the partnership was expected to produce competent teachers at all levels in the country.

?Our approach is a holistic one. It offers methodology as well as management of school environment, free of conflict. We are trying to address the needs of Rwanda and make a difference so that these educators teach the next generation to expect more? It?s always about the students,? Olzacki said.

One of the most helpful aspects of the programme, according to Olive Kampire, a teacher from Rusizi District, is the opportunity to interact with first language English speakers.

?All the teachers in the programme can communicate in English, but being able to practice with native speakers is a unique opportunity,? Kampire said.

The Minister for Education, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, who presided over the closing ceremony, advised the teachers to make good use of the skills acquired.

?We have had challenges of using English as a language of instruction in schools. The programme offers teachers the opportunity to master the language and teach it effectively. All beneficiaries, therefore, should prepare for that,? he said.

By Stephen Rwembeho, The New Times

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