December 5, 2022

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Rwanda: UNESCO, MINEDUC,  FAWE Rwanda, hold STEM Mentoring Boot Camp for 20 Science and TVET schools from Kigali City

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

About 120 students, teachers and UNESCO Trainers are convening in FAWE Girls School/Gisozi for STEM Mentoring Boot Camp on Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing and Microscience which was organised by the Rwanda National Commission for UNESCO (CNRU) in partnership with UNESCO, Ministry of Education, Ministry of ICT & Innovation, Rwanda Basic Education Board, Rwanda TVET Board, FAWE Rwanda and the Creativity Lab.

The boot camp is part of the major Sciences, Technology and Innovation Forum taking place in Kigali Convention Centre from the 28th February – 4th March 2022.

At least 20 schools and TVETs from Kigali City are participating in these 5 days boot camp under the Theme: ‘’ Re-imagining and Re-thinking STEM Education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’’

Ir. Dominique MVUNABANDI, Director of Science, Technology & Innovation Unit at Rwanda National Commission for UNESCO (CNRU) said: “In this workshop, teachers and students will be introduced to the latest Fourth Industrial Revolution technology where the teacher is required to be aware of this advancement in technology and innovations and thus be able to transfer the knowledge to the students and to include it in the day-to-day courses.”

He added that among the technologies they will look at are the use of robots, Artificial Intelligence, coding and 3D printing Technology among others.

“Our trainers have also in particular the Microscience kits that help children learn biology, chemistry and physics in a modern way and these kits are also going to help participants in this bootcamp.”

“So, these trainers from UNESCO are going to help us in imparting knowledge on these topics, they will be with the students from about 20 schools and TVETs in Kigali city during the five days we will spend here. We have a gathering of about 120 people (students, teachers and trainers).” Ir. Mvunabandi said.

Speaking at the official opening of the bootcamp, the Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Gaspard Twagirayezu said: “The Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Education is focusing in the promotion of Science Technology and Research (STR) in line with National Strategy for Transformation which the main orientations and aspirations in education for the country are: Knowledge-based Economy, Promoting the STEM and ICT in Education system, Enhancing the quality education, inclusive and lifelong education for all our schools.”

He revealed that “Currently, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in Rwanda have already brought many good changes and improvements in various aspects of life, such as health insurance, ICT infrastructure, sustainable and renewable energy production, intensive and modern agriculture and others.”

“The Ministry of Education appreciates and recognizes here the UNESCO support in building and improving teacher’s capacity in ICT and STEM related fields.” Minister Twagirayezu added.

He also reminded that in Rwanda, “we have started STEM mentorship and inspiring Camps with UNESCO and FAWE Rwanda support in December 2018 & 2019 and the STEM training through UNESCO Cracking the Code: Quality, Gender-responsive STEM Education program.”

“Regular capacity building of teachers on content, pedagogy skills, STEM and gender awareness aimed at promoting gender sensitive classroom practices focusing on learning needs for both boys and girls;” Minister Twagirayezu said, adding that there is still more to be done to address technical gaps in STEM.

Trainers of this boot camp came from Zimbabwe, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Paris among other countries
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