Rwanda: Lack of Electricity Limits Uptake of Technology in Schools

Written by Staff
Rwanda
Schools in Rwanda were to have adopted technology in teaching and learning by 2020 in a government bid that was aimed at digitizing the education sector. Photo via Mara Phone Twitter

All primary and secondary schools in Rwanda were set to have adopted technology in teaching and learning by 2020 in a government bid that was aimed at digitizing the education sector.

The project, established in partnership with Microsoft Corporation, was expected to lower the cost of delivering the curriculum and learning materials to schools and improve learning outcomes.

However, three years down the road since the plan was introduced, the government is yet to achieve its targets.

From AllAfrica. Story by Julius Bizimungu.

Currently, the uptake of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the education sector is at 64 percent and 55 percent in primary and secondary schools respectively, according to the Ministry of Education.

Limited access to electricity has made it impossible for some schools to adopt ICT in education, according to Samuel Murindwa, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education.

“The reality is that government facilitates all public and public aided schools to have smart classrooms. However, access to electricity is one of the limiting factors to roll out smart classrooms,” he said.

Fulgence Nikobamera introduced an innovative solution- a charging cabinet that would support the charging of 60 laptops at once.

While there are options to use solar energy in Rwanda, he said it is expensive to power these classroom facilities with solar.

Murindwa indicated that in every school the government establishes two smart classrooms with each equipped with 50 computers and projectors, as well as pay internet connectivity for these schools.

Learning and teaching software are then installed, enabling schools to deliver content in a much easier way and expand students’ horizons beyond the ordinary curriculum.

It was believed that technology-enhanced classrooms could foster opportunities in education by integrating technology, such as computers, digital content and specialized educational software, assistive technologies, audio-visual equipment, and networking equipment.

Read more at AllAfrica.