Nobel Prize-winning economist Professor Michael Kremer has revealed that the learning gains in a major study in Africa are among the largest in the international literature on education.
The holistic methodology studied primarily underpins the Government of Rwanda’s transformative education program – Rwanda Education Quality Improvement Program (RwandaEQUIP); designed to transform learning outcomes across the public school system.
The results show that attending schools with highly standardized instruction has the potential to produce dramatic learning gains on a large scale. The study, conducted on NewGlobe-supported schools in Kenya, further suggests that children living in underserved African communities could benefit from 53% more learning during their early childhood and primary schooling.
The results were presented at the 2022 World Education Forum in London.
He finds that after two years, primary school students in NewGlobe-supported schools are nearly a full year ahead of children educated using standard methods. It also finds that 82% of Primary 1 (seven-year-old) students 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.
“We are proud that an independent study of this scale, led by a Nobel Prize-winning economist, has found such compelling evidence of significant learning gains through a methodology we are currently using in schools in Rwanda,” said said Clement Uwajeneza, RwandaEQUIP Managing Director.
The study revealed that this methodology that underpins RwandaEQUIP increases equity.
Students starting at the lowest levels of learning have gained the most, with girls making the same leap in learning as boys, compared to the traditional situation where girls in sub-Saharan Africa are systematically disadvantaged in learning. learning. The study finds that if the benefits were duplicated at scale in public education systems, African students from disadvantaged communities would be well on their way to catching up with their peers in countries with three or four times the income.
How it works
Through the RwandaEQUIP approach, teachers in public schools leverage the structured content of the competency-based curriculum to deliver technology-enabled learning.
This is combined with proven classroom engagement practices to enhance learning and provide more engaging, personalized and feedback-driven instruction. This ensures that all students have the opportunity to grow, thrive and reach their full potential to become globally competitive and build a better future for themselves, their families and all Rwandans.
ECD and Primary teachers are trained and then provided with electronic tablets containing meticulously designed lessons and assessments that help all teachers deliver content consistently. To access these teaching guides, each morning, the tablets are connected to the headteacher’s smartphone with a system designed to mark his presence and his departure. I can also see when students start and finish their lessons, which helps me track their progress,” said Kezia Kangwera, Principal of Groupe Scolaire (GS) Muyumbu in Gicumbi District.
Teachers are also gradually adapting to the use of English as the language of instruction. Through RwandaEQUIP, we have been trained in positive behavior management strategies that build students’ confidence and motivate them to participate in class. “It allows students to realize their full potential, to stay attentive and actively participate during lessons, engaging them in different playful activities during their breaks or when they are usually bored,” said Benoit Niyonsenga, a teacher in the same school.
“Before, teaching was just about spending a lot of time reading different textbooks and developing examples to use while explaining to students. But we were given tablets that help us save time so we can focus more on engaging with our students,” said Foibe Iracyampa, teacher at GS Rubago.
“We have been trained on how to care for students, engage with them and discipline them without violating their rights,” she added.
Students have equal access to the resources they need to succeed. They are given manuals and activity books with various tasks and activities to encourage self-preparation outside the classroom.
According to Benoit Niyonsenga, a teacher at Groupe Scolaire (GS) Muyumbu, each student receives books for each subject in which they can answer quizzes directly, saving parents money on textbooks.
Pupil and professor at the council.
Teachers with tablets during teacher training.