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Rwanda: Towards a Knowledge-Based Economy
Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201306190102.html
Source Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Country: Rwanda
Created: Jun 20, 2013

In 2000, Rwanda adopted vision 2020 which aimed at building a knowledge-based economy. This strategy was centered on investing in its main asset, the Rwandan population.This meant to use most of its budget into developing infrastructure, education and health.
To date, government has deployed 200,000 laptops in over 400 schools, becoming the 3rd largest implementation of a 1 to 1 computing in public school programme in the world and the first in Africa.
More than just placing the laptops in the hands of pupils, the programme includes a massive capacity building exercise for teachers on both basic ICTs but also and more importantly the methodology of teaching using digital content.
Having inherited an education system where few where allowed to go to school from regimes prior to 1994, the main challenge was to ensure that Rwanda provide free basic education to all students in primary and secondary schools.
This was meant not only to eliminate the massive ignorance that led to the various massacres from 1959 which escalated to a full-scale genocide in 1994 but also to provide to the population the needed skills to make Rwanda a knowledge-based economy.That is how Rwanda embarked on a massive construction of classrooms all over the country.
As Rwanda was achieving access to all in education, a fundamental question needed to be answered.How do we ensure that all our students have access to courses, lessons comparable to the best schools around the world, especially those in highly competitive countries such as Singapore, Japan, Korea or the USA?
This was even more important given that in most third world countries, teachers in primary schools are the least qualified and the least paid. It is in this context that Rwanda selected to use technology in schools to improve the quality of its education and take advantage of digital, interactive, graphic rich curriculum to introduce a constructionist approach.

That is how Rwanda elected to implement the One Laptop per child program in all its primary schools. Through the Rwanda One Laptop Programme, knowledge is delivered to the students in a new way, where the teacher is more of a facilitator rather than an instructor.


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