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On Friday 25 November, the University of Rwanda-College of Education, the Rwanda Education Board and VVOB celebrated close to 400 outstanding school leaders at a graduation ceremony for head teachers who successfully completed a training in effective school leadership.

5  standards of leadership

The University of Rwanda-College of Education (UR-CE) proudly awarded the successful head teachers with a continuing professional development diploma in Effective School Leadership. During this 18-month trajectory with the College, jointly organised with VVOB Rwanda, the head teachers tackled the five professional standards of effective school leadership as mentioned in the Teacher Statute:

  • Setting the school’s strategic direction
  • Leading in learning
  • Leading in teaching
  • Managing the school as an organisation
  • Engaging parents and the community

A professional development unit has been developed for each standard and focuses on the related competences necessary. Head teachers share their field experiences, some success stories and the challenges they face in their respective schools.

The course  took place over 18 months and included 16 contact days, spread over eight weekends. In between these sessions, head teachers were assigned exercises to reflect on their daily practices. UR-CE trainers supported these reflective exercises with field visits and provided constructive feedback.     


“We believe effective and efficient school leaders are essential if student learning needs are to be met. However, a person cannot wake up and be an effective school leader. Leaders are made.”
(Deogratias, representative of graduates at the graduation event)
Deogratias also called for the diploma course to be rolled out nationally and be made compulsory for all head teachers. The head teachers at the graduation event pledged for support from the Ministry of Education so they can be regularly trained on these competences, fitted to their own professional needs. It was suggested to UR-CE to offer the course in online learning modalities, so a large number of head teachers across Rwanda can be reached.
George Njoroge, the principal of UR-CE and the guest of honour at the graduation ceremony, congratulated all graduates:
“The destiny of our school children in terms of learning achievement lies in your hands.”
A group of students from the UR-CE festively closed the graduation ceremony with a traditional dance.