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From 22 until 25 August, VVOB actively participated in the 2017 DETA conference held in Rwanda. Our local colleagues presented two impact studies of their activities, organised a mini-symposium and launched the first two editions of VVOB’s series of technical briefs.


This year’s Distance Education and Teacher Education in Africa (DETA) conference on ‘Getting practical about SDG 4 in teacher education in Africa’ was hosted by the University of Rwanda – College of Education in Kigali. Seeing the theme, our colleagues at VVOB Rwanda had ample opportunity to share their expertise.

One of these opportunities was the organisation of a mini-symposium on professional learning communities (PLCs) for teachers and school leaders. Colleague Stefaan Vande Walle, education advisor at VVOB Rwanda, gave participants an overview of recent research on the topic, and of VVOB’s lessons learnt in the matter. A panel discussion with relevant ministry of Education officials from both Rwanda and South Africa shed light on the most commonly encountered issues in developing and implementing structural PLCs. You can read the full report of the symposium here.

The local team also presented two impact evaluations of the completed Learning Outcomes in Primary Education (LOPE) programme, that ran from 2014 up until 2016. One of the aims of LOPE was to integrate a learner-centred pedagogy in Rwanda’s teacher training colleges, and by extension in Rwanda’s primary school classrooms. The study reveals that the tutors and students of these colleges have taken up the approach. A second project outcome that was evaluated was the development of communities of practice between all teacher training centres. The study shows that despite busy schedules, teacher trainers are involved in such communities based on certain subjects. Both studies will soon be published.

Putting SDG 4 into practice

VVOB Rwanda also officially launched our series of technical briefs ‘VVOB: Putting SDG 4 into Practice’ as a side-event to the DETA conference, with support from the Belgian embassy there.

These technical briefs share our insights gathered over 35 years of experience into what makes an education system work for all learners. Each edition zooms in on a specific building block of quality education, drawing from international research. It is detailed how VVOB strengthens these building blocks, how its approach has proven successful, and what VVOB does specifically in each partner country. The first edition focuses on effective school leadership, the second on professional learning communities.

Read more about them here.