Thursday, 7 June 2012

Rwanda : English mentors from the region start arriving

Information from the Rwanda Education board (REB) has confirmed that few of the recruited English mentors from the region have arrived in the country.
According to the Director General of REB Dr. John Rutayisire, over a hundred of the 300 recruited teachers are already in the country. The teachers are mainly from Uganda and Kenya.
The programme to recruit these teachers had targeted about 4, 000, but met difficulty after it registered a small turn up.
The initial plan was solely recruit them from Kenya, but government decided to cast the net wider to include other countries after Kenya could not ably satisfy the demand.
The low turn up of applicants for the Rwandan teaching jobs was partly attributed to the salary which is considered low. The successful applicants are supposed to be paid a monthly salary of Rwf200, 000, which is less than 500 US Dollars.
The aim of enlisting the services of these teachers, who, according to the minister, will have a contract of three to four years, is to help improve the proficiency in the English language of local teachers.
The arrangement comes to boost the skills of the teachers in Rwanda, three years after the country switched to English as the language of instruction in schools in 2008.
The country is still facing a problem of fluent English since the switch because there was need to train them in the language after its introduction due to the fact that they were predominantly French speakers.
According to the ministry, 43,000 teachers have so far been trained in the English language. The first batch was trained for three months between November 2009 and January 2010.
The mentors will not only be charged with teaching students, but will also teach their local counterparts in a “trainer of trainers” arrangement that seeks to have Rwandan teachers speak English fluently as a means of improving their competence.
Rutayisire says that upon arrival, the teachers sign work contracts and are deployed in rural schools, where there is more need for teachers compared to city schools.
He said that they are still receiving them and more are still needed to satisfy the demand.
However, though the Ministry is going through a hard time now, it is planning to come up with a method which will help the country have enough qualified teachers in a sustainable manner.
There has been an increase of hours for those studying to become teachers at Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) from three to five hours a day where they are trained in grammar and literature skills as one way of ensuring sustainability.


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