Aspiring to become a high-income country by 2050 (Vision 2050), Rwanda aims to shift from an economy heavily dependent on agriculture towards a digital economy. The digital sector is expected to grow strongly in the coming years. ICT can be used as a tool for self-employment too. However, digital literacy remains low in Rwanda. Adolescents also lack the problem-solving and creative skills crucial to boosting innovation. Moreover, there is still a gender gap in learning outcomes for STEM and relatively few girls choose to pursue higher education in STEM fields.
To unlock youth’s potential in this new economy, Rwanda introduced a new competence-based curriculum, spearheading ICT and 21st century skills, such as creativity and problem-solving skills. To develop these skills, the Rwanda Education Board (REB) integrated Scratch in the upper primary school curriculum of Science and Elementary Technology (SET) and in the lower secondary school curriculum of ICT. Scratch is a free tool that youngsters can use to create stories, games and animations based on coding principles. More recently, the Ministry of ICT and Innovation announced plans to further integrate coding in the secondary school curriculum and to encourage schools to form coding clubs to promote coding skills.
Yet, many teachers lack the required competences and skills to teach coding. Nor do they have digital learning materials or technical and pedagogical support available. Hence, most teachers are reluctant to effectively integrate Scratch in their lessons.
Secondary school teachers of STEM and ICT have the competences to integrate Scratch into ICT and STEM lesson plans and to initiate and facilitate after school coding clubs.
- Ministry of Education (MINEDUC)
- Rwanda Education Board (REB)
- Rwanda Coding Academy (RCA)
In the framework of Scratc²h 2050, learners will be introduced to coding principles in the classroom as STEM and ICT teachers integrate Scratch in STEM and ICT courses. The coding clubs, next, will provide the opportunity to truly develop digital skills in an enjoyable environment, combining fun with learning the language of generation Z: the programming language.
To this end, VVOB will train secondary school STEM and ICT teachers on coding and its benefits through blended learning. After training, they will continue to develop professionally through participation in ongoing online and biannual face-to-face ScratchEd Meetups.
The project is built around four pillars:
- Development of a Scratc²h 2050 pedagogical guide, complemented by ICT and STEM lesson plans and Open Education Resources (OERs)
- CPD trajectory for ICT and STEM teachers
- Professional learning communities of ICT and STEM teachers
- Establishment of after school Scratc²h 2050 coding clubs
By the end of the Scratc²h initiative in Kanyonza district:
- RCA staff will offer quality training to STEM and ICT teachers.
- Secondary school STEM and ICT teachers will:
- have undertaken a CPD trajectory on digital literacy and coding skills, developing their competences to initiate and facilitate Scratch coding clubs and integrate Scratch in their courses.
- participate in professional learning communities
- facilitate after school coding clubs.
- An estimated 1350 secondary school learners will have participated in after-school Scratch coding clubs led by ICT and STEM teachers. More than 14,750 learners will experiment with Scratch in the classroom.
To reach its goals, VVOB develops the capacity of its partners in Rwanda. VVOB uses capacity development trajectories that give partners maximal responsibility in the execution and management of their own change processes. This is done through technical assistance provided by the VVOB team in Rwanda, which includes both local and international educational and change management experts.