The Rwandese Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) endorses the ‘Rwanda Vision 2020’, expressing both its wish to ban poverty by 2020 and to join the group of ‘Middle Income Countries’. Due to its enclosed position and limited natural resources, Rwanda considers its inhabitants as human capital, making investments in a knowledge and a technology-driven economy a priority. That vision is translated into the mission of the Ministry of Education. Despite the many efforts there is still a shortage of qualified education staff. Also, the curricula and teaching materials are of poor quality.
VVOB has already been active in Rwanda before the tragic events of 1994. Its actions fitted within the at that time operational mission of VVOB: sending teachers to developing countries. In 2003 a new cooperation started between Rwanda and VVOB; the so-called School Management Programme.
The School Management Programme aims at increasing competence of the team involved in school management within all Rwandese schools. Integrating school management and leadership training in the Rwandese education system enables school managers to achieve more effectiveness and equality in education.
The past years, directors, accountants, secretaries, boarding school teachers and animators of secondary schools have been trained in the principles of school management. Manuals and modules on school management have been developed and the processes of school management have been applied, guided and monitored in 30 pilot schools. The following years, the focus will be on institutionalising the programme.
The School Management Programme has been integrated into the programme of our strategic partner, the Ministry of Education – our objectives correspond with the strategic plan of the Ministry. In 2011, the School Management Unit has been established. This unit operates within the Teacher Training Department, which is part of the new structure of the Rwandan Education Board (REB). In the coming years, the programme will focus on reinforcing this unit and establishing pilot schools as training centres in the provinces.
The programme improves school management in secondary schools via training and modules on the principal management topics.
Within the Ministry of Education a school management expertise centre has been erected. This centre constitutes a formal frame for exchanging experiences; serving as a platform where directors and staff of pilot schools meet.
The programme has led to the creation of 30 pilot schools (one per district) on school management and ICT. Peer learning, which involved pilot schools visiting one another, was an important element within this training. These schools serve as a reference of good school management in Rwanda. In turn, these schools will teach surrounding schools in the district about qualitative school management.
The Quality Department of the REB, the Teacher Training Department of the REB and the local district authority got support in their daily tasks involving the application and spreading of decent school management principles. In this way, the inspectors have been thoroughly trained and prepared to give school management training.