Supporting schools in Rwanda through closure

As schools in Rwanda prepare to re-open from 2 November, we hear from our local team on how Link has been helping them get ready for pupils’ return.

The schools in Rwanda closed on 15 March in order to control the spread of COVID-19. To support a successful re-opening, the Rwanda Education Board invited Link and other development partners to support schools to develop school improvement plans to ensure they were well prepared for pupils’ return.

Link was asked to support all 98 schools in Nyaruguru District, working in partnership with the 14 Sector Education Officers in the district.

I’ve been working with schools to develop and refine their plans over the last few months:

  • First, schools collected data on basic information about the school, including number of teachers and students’ performance
  • We trained 14 school inspectors and one ministry of education staff member on the main stages of school improvement planning development, the steps to be taken to support schools in this process, and the timeline for developing improvement plans in advance of schools re-opening
  • The headteacher, deputy headteacher and a parent representative from each school met the inspector to discuss the objectives and outcomes of the training. All appropriate measures were taken to avoid the possible spread of the virus
  • Link gave schools feedback on their improvement plans through WhatsApp group messages and phone calls to avoid unnecessary in-person contact. Ensuing the schools could re-open safely was a priority considered during Link’s feedback. The comments and feedback were also shared with the school inspectors who will work further with schools to support them to achieve their planned goals

It has just been announced that schools will start to re-open on 2 November. I’m proud of all we’ve done to support schools so far, and we are still working hard to help schools get the further support they need to develop effective evidence-based school improvement plans that will ensure learners can thrive.

Edouard Rusanganwa works as a Project Manager with Link in Rwanda.