The Rwanda English Project provides intensive English instruction to teachers in rural schools in Rwanda. The most fluent teachers are then trained to continue instruction with the less proficient teachers in their schools during the rest of the school year. This year, 60 teachers serving 3,000 students are receiving training. Starting in November, 75 more teachers will be trained.
John Mugabo, director of Millenium Promise Rwanda, visiting the US for the first time, spoke on behalf of the project and the transformation taking place in Rwanda.
24 years ago, Rwanda was a different country. 50% of the population was refugees and in 1994, a genocide of over 1 million people occurred over the course of 100 days. After the genocide, the government who took over had to start over.
The government prioritized social and economic measures, and particularly, improving on the use of technology. Partnering with Millenium Promise, the government is working continually on efforts to eradicate extreme poverty throughout the nation. Access to health insurance and education are provided for every Rwandan citizen. The development of the youth is very important to Rwanda since 2/3 of the population is under 30.
Today, Rwanda is primarily led by women and in fact, it is mandatory that women hold 30% of the offices. Women’s rights have greatly increased over the past many years. With economic growth hitting an average eight percent since 2001, the World Bank chose to name the country as its top reformer for business in 2010.
Rwanda shifted in 2008 from the teaching of French to English as the official language and this posed an additional, but necessary, challenge. The biggest obstacle was spoken English.
In 2017, the Rwanda English Project was introduced and has helped tremendously by focusing on spoken English and a peer learning program.