While Rwanda rejoices in improving the quality of education, an independent study by Nobel laureate in economics, Professor Michael Kremer, suggests that the country is on the right track.
The groundbreaking study suggests that children living in underserved African communities could receive 53% more learning, during their early childhood and primary schooling, in schools supported by NewGlobe; the technical partner of the RwandaEQUIP initiative of the Rwandan government.
RwandaEQUIP refers to Rwanda’s Education Quality Improvement Program designed to transform learning outcomes across the public school system.
This methodology recommends a range of classroom techniques for teachers to engage, communicate and connect with their class.
At the 2022 World Education Forum in London, Nobel Prize-winning economist Professor Michael Kremer shared the results of a study of a similar methodology in Kenya supported by NewGlobe.
The study finds that after two years, primary school students participating in NewGlobe’s program in the study are nearly an additional year ahead of students taught using standard methods.
For Early Childhood Development (ECD) – typically 3- and 5-year-olds – students gain almost an extra year and a half of learning; learn in two years what students in other schools learn in three and a half years.
“The study’s learning gains are among the largest in the international education literature,” read the study’s findings.
“The effects of this study are among the largest in the international education literature, especially for a program that was already operating at scale,” said Professor Michael Kremer.
“This study shows that attending schools with highly standardized education has the potential to produce dramatic learning gains on a large scale, suggesting that policy makers may wish to explore the incorporation of standardization, including standardized lesson plans and teacher feedback and tracking, in their own systems.”
The study also reveals that among students at NewGlobe-supported schools, 82% of Primary 1 students – typically seven-year-olds – can read a sentence, compared to 27% of their peers at other schools.
The World Bank estimates that 90% of 10-year-olds in sub-Saharan Africa do not meet this threshold.
“The transformation of education is a key priority for the Government of Rwanda and bold investments have been made in this regard,” said Gaspard Twagirayezu, Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education who was at the Global Forum. of education 2022.
Twagirayezu further said, “The findings of this study provide a wealth of information that will inform our policies as we accelerate learning to provide quality education for all.
The study reveals that the methodology behind RwandaEQUIP has increased equity. Students starting with the lowest levels of learning progressed the most, with girls making the same leap in learning as boys.
This contrasts with research that shows that girls in sub-Saharan Africa are systematically disadvantaged when it comes to learning.
Speaking of RwandaEQUIP, Managing Director Clement Uwajeneza said, “We are proud that an independent study of this scale, led by a Nobel Prize-winning economist, has found unequivocal evidence of significant learning gains through methodology we currently use. in schools in Rwanda. We are proud to support the Government of Rwanda’s policy choice to improve learning.
According to Uwajeneza, RwandaEQUIP’s holistic approach improves learning outcomes through data-driven technology, increased access to high-quality learning materials, and training and mentoring of teachers and leaders. of establishment.
Teachers have also owned this program and found it to be effective.
“Thanks to RwandaEQUIP, we have not only learned to use technology to improve the way we deliver our lessons, but also our English proficiency has increased. In the end, we hope to achieve academic excellence”, Benoit Ntakirutimana, teacher at GS Nyamirama.
RwandaEQUIP started in 2021. It is currently implemented in 100 public and government-subsidized primary schools. By the end of 2024, RwandaEQUIP will be operational in 761 schools.
Professor Kremer will present the findings to education leaders and policy makers at the UNESCO Transforming Education pre‐summit in Paris from 28e-30e June 2022.