While several sectors have advanced progressively with technology and changing times, education has seemed to remain conservative and stagnant something experts argue has negatively affected the quality of its deliverables.
In efforts to break the conservative tendencies, Rwanda’s Ministry of Education with its partners has organized a series of innovation in education fairs across the country, the latest among which was hosted on July 10, at the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology in Kigali.
The Kigali City fair attracted participation from not only schools in the Rwandan capital but also a score others from countryside districts.
“As technology advances, we need to keep up with the speed, coming up with new ideas to make teaching and learning easier,” Hope Tumukunde the Vice Mayor for Social Affairs in the City of Kigali heighted.
“Innovating new ways of doing things will help us improve our quality of education and make education a friendly experience to learners,” she added.
Best exhibiters will be supported to share their innovations with other schools across the country disclosed organizers of the fair.
Exhibitors applaud the opportunity presented
Joseph Habiyaremye, a lecturer at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre-Kigali and one of the exhibitors commended the fairs as a great gem that will see increase in innovativeness in the education sector.
“After my studies, I came had an idea to build a student tracking system which uses a microchip card. Through the card, a parent/guardian would be able to know the student’s location which would help in identifying the whereabouts of the learner at any particular time.”
However it is until he learnt of the innovation in education fairs that Habiyaremye embarked on developing and fine tuning his device.
The device includes a microchip embedded card and a card reader system which is a small box that is held by the school authority while the card is kept by the learner. Upon arrival or departure from school, the learner places the card on the reader and an automatic short message is sent to the mobile phone of the learner’s guardian.
According to Dr. Eugene Ndabaga the innovation in education initiative which is a brainchild of the Ministry of Education intends to involve teachers and schools in finding new ways to improve teaching and learning, both pedagogically and administratively.
“Teachers should not depend entirely on the knowledge they acquire during training but go further to build innovative ways of managing education and thus break the conservativeness in the sector. Through these fairs, we have discovered that there are people with brilliant ideas to significantly transform the sector, which we hope will be shared nationally and internationally,” Ndabaga said.
Three best exhibitors selected during the fair will compete with winners from Rwanda’s four provinces (three from each province) in a National competition slated for September this year.