what we do
- Rwandan children receive the highest quality education available in their country—by exploring Rwandan themes through play using Rwanda’s abundant natural resources
- Rwandan teachers are well prepared to encourage children to become analytical thinkers, thoughtful readers, and strong writers—by blending Rwandan culture with modern teaching practices
- Rwandan pre-service and in-service teachers can begin their own professional development journeys—by seeing first-hand how modern schools sound, how knowledgeable teachers teach, and how today’s children are actively engaged in learning
TEACH Rwanda intends to gradually evolve into an all-Rwandan NGO, so we actively mentor our staff and identify other Rwandans who can move the organization into the country’s compelling future.
TEACH Rwanda has high standards, including:
- 20 children per preschool classroom
- 2 Rwandan teachers in each preschool classroom
- abundant learning materials, appropriate school furnishings
- modern teaching practices
Only those schools that have a TEACH Rwanda record of continuous quality improvements are awarded this status. These schools then become sites for teachers from around the country—and around the world—to discover how international best practices can be implemented in ways that demonstrate respect for Rwandan culture AND reflect current child development research.
Our teachers are dedicated, enthusiastic professionals who continue to learn as TEACH Rwanda volunteers mentor them. Many arrived at early childhood education through other fields, found their work rewarding, and are becoming TEACH Rwanda leaders themselves—TEACH Rwanda’s Finance Officer, Bright School’s Head Master, and our newest teacher educator all began in TEACH Rwanda classrooms!
What about the children? They are thriving! Then rush into school each day and are filled with joy! Their elaborate block constructions, intricate drawings, detailed stories, delightful pretend play scenarios, and engagement in reenacting children’s literature reveal how a Rwandan, integrated, competency-based curriculum is succeeding!
And the parents? They are thrilled! And recognize what a difference TEACH Rwanda has made in their children’s lives.
Parents frequently tell us that neighbors’ children who are far older do not have the skills that children in TEACH Rwanda schools have: cognitive, language/literacy, math, physical, social, and personal. “What are you doing to my daughter?” asked the father of a girl in P1. “At home every day she is writing, organizing things, doing calculation in math: addition, subtraction. She’s independent.” The journals he got for her to write in are full. “She is like a genius!"
Bright School, Muhanga
Our flagship school was founded in 2012 by Louise Batamuriza, a Rwandan teacher who retired in 2016. Bright School has expanded every year. It now features three delightful preschool classrooms with morning and afternoon sessions. In response to parent demand and TEACH Rwanda’s dedication to provide continuity of education, our first primary 1 class started in 2016. Each year, we will add another primary level through P6.
Bright School began in a small rented house, moved to a bit larger house with better ventilation, and is poised to move into a permanent home in January 2017. It attracts international visitors, government officials, researchers, other NGOs, and Rwandan educators—all of whom find that the school is “amazing” compared to other classrooms in the country.
Harmony School/Ready for Reading, Rwinkwavu
The Rwinkwavu Community Library and Learning Center is home to one preschool classroom with morning and afternoon sessions. Jean d’Amour Ndize, the lead teacher, began working with TEACH Rwanda in 2013, and began teaching at the library in 2015. With a new facility and strong library leadership, Harmony School quickly moved from Project School status to Exemplary School status.
Rwinkwavu is a small village on the road to Akagera National Wildlife Park. Although zebra, elephants, lions, giraffes, and baboons live just minutes away, few children or teachers in this low-income area ever have the opportunity to see them. Goats, cows, and chickens, on the other hand, are part of their lives. Teachers, especially those who live in Rwanda’s Eastern Province, and visitors to the library, find a remarkable, lively, modern classroom on site!
Kigabiro Brilliant School, Gasabo District, Nduba
This new public school, located in an impoverished area just outside of the nation’s capital, opened its doors in March 2016 after months of planning. Damascene, the Head Master, and his staff have been working diligently to learn new teaching strategies and set up their classrooms, which are so different than anything they have ever experienced. These teachers are creative and passionate about their work.
But they are NOT paid. Few parents in this community—where there is no water, no jobs, no industry, not even a market—have the means to pay their children’s tuition. In Rwanda, public preschool teachers are NOT paid unless parents can do so. As a consequence, Kigabiro Brilliant School teachers have no salary and no benefits. They, and their families, are hungry. Children in the school are hungry. An accessible source of water was found 5 months after the school opened.
Advocacy efforts are underway. Rwanda will begin to pay a few public preschool teachers’ salaries soon, and we are advocating that Kigabiro Brilliant School be among those selected because of the high number of vulnerable families.