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EducationOver Two Thousand Rwandan Educators Boost English Skills through British Council and...

Over Two Thousand Rwandan Educators Boost English Skills through British Council and INTO NILE Initiative

To this point, the initiative focused on English language enhancement has benefitted upwards of 2500 secondary educators.

In Rwanda, 2500 local secondary educators have undergone extensive English language teacher training courtesy of the Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE), part of the INTO University Partnerships Group.

The training was delivered digitally by NILE’s language experts, recognised globally as one of the foremost providers of professional development courses for English language educators, in collaboration with the British Council.

The inaugural cohort of educators embarked on the programme in August 2023, promptly commencing their virtual studies on digital tablets provided for the initiative’s duration. Alongside regular online classes with their e-Teacher moderators, participants engaged in self-directed study on English vocabulary and grammar, culminating in end-of-module assessments, all facilitated through the Rwandan Education Board (REB) learning platform.

This 20-week language enhancement programme forms part of the broader STELIR (Secondary Teachers English Language Improvement Rwanda) project, executed in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and the British Council alongside the Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB). STELIR’s mission is to elevate the English proficiency of Lower Secondary Teachers in Rwanda’s state education system to an intermediate level or beyond, ultimately benefiting 6,000 in-service teachers across 14 districts and 1,000 Lower Secondary Pre-Service educators at the University of Rwanda College of Education (URCE), thereby enriching the educational experiences of lower secondary students.

Recent years have seen Rwandan education undergo significant growth and reform, now considered a crucial investment for the nation’s economic future. The education system is in the latter stages of a seven-year strategic plan aimed at enhancing the relevance, quality, and accessibility of education.

“Throughout the project, both learning participants and e-Teacher moderators grew in confidence,” observed Rose Aylett, a NILE Consultant Trainer. “By the end of the session, those teachers who had spoken very little were confidently and enthusiastically speaking English with their colleagues. In a similar vein, the e-Teacher moderators I had the good fortune to collaborate with also advanced their technology skills and learned a great deal of new, practical teaching methods.”

“It’s been an extremely productive experience engaging in live sessions with our e-Trainer throughout the training programme, enhancing our skills to deliver English language lessons effectively as teachers,” shared Jean, a graduate of the English language programme.

Jean adds, “It’s been an extremely productive experience engaging in live sessions with our e-Trainer throughout the training programme, enhancing our skills to deliver English language lessons effectively as teachers.”

Francois, another secondary English educator from the first group, reflected on his journey as a visually impaired learner. “At first, I was afraid of not being able to keep up with others,” he revealed. “But in the live meetings, the teachers actively involved me, which made the learning process approachable. I became more proficient in speaking, listening, and writing over the course, and I also developed a deeper comprehension of English concepts. My e-trainers were all inclusive, taking into account my unique learning requirements. The in-person lessons were truly welcoming, treating both myself and my other instructors fairly and offering extra assistance so that I could take part in activities with other students.”

A select group of local English teacher trainers also completed the programme, equipping them to support Rwandan educators with ongoing English language training post-programme.

“They were organised, communicative, and student-centred throughout the six months I worked with the NILE team,” remarked Ruth Bath, Senior Trainer and STELIR Project Coordinator at British Council Rwanda. “Because of this partnership, the public education system in Rwanda now boasts a cadre of skilled, confident trainers ready to deliver high-quality online sessions that exemplify the inclusive teaching methods and pedagogical skills they’ve acquired from their e-trainers.”

“It has been inspiring working with teachers across the whole of Rwanda and supporting efforts to achieve a sustainable change in the Rwandan education system,” said Mike Riley, Deputy Director of NILE. “As they continue to train local secondary teachers in Rwanda, who we know are eager to apply their newfound knowledge, we send our best wishes to the English instructors working there.”

Since INTO University Partnerships acquired NILE in 2006, the collaboration has propelled NILE’s expanding global presence, providing educational professionals worldwide with a diverse range of English language teaching and support services.

NILE has trained over 70,000 educators from more than 90 countries since 1995, aiding thousands in various aspects of English Language Teaching (ELT), from government ministries and private language schools to primary and university-level educators. Besides offering training programmes online, in the UK, and internationally, NILE actively participates in designing and implementing major global education reform projects.

In the coming weeks, NILE, in collaboration with the British Council, will continue to deliver training in Rwanda, including a second cohort of 800 trainee teachers set to complete the programme in March 2024.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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