During this past quarter, Sanejo has been involved in a number of professional and community development activities for both the Ntenyo school and the community. There have been workshops and trainings for teachers and school leaders. In addition to this, we are building an ICT center, teachers’ and principal’s office, toilets and a nursery.
Teachers have received numerous trainings and workshops this summer. One of our directors, Mr. David Mwambari organized a workshop on leadership and students’ evaluation for teachers and school leaders. The workshop helped them better understand everyone’s role and each student’s performance and how to better help them.
Additionally, during the second term holidays, our interns intensively worked with teachers in improving their English and computer skills. They have improved their writing, listening and speaking skills considerably and are able to work in Ms Word and Excel on their own. In addition to working with the interns, the Ministry of Education in Rwanda also organized English trainings for teachers during the same period, where school-based mentors worked with them to improving their level of English.
Construction & Community Development
This year, in addition to the twelve classrooms completed last year, we are building offices for the principal and teachers, an ICT room and toilets. Upon request of the Ministry of Education that every Primary school should have a nursery school as well, we added on one classroom.
After the workshop with teachers, there was a meeting with community members, the majority of whom have been working at the school as masons since the beginning of the project. They shared their achievements since then, where many have started businesses with the money they are making by working for Sanejo and have also gained professional experience. They also have been encouraged to learn English and improve their literacy. Both meetings were followed by a group lunch and traditional dancing.
In summary, we have achieved many things this summer and our various initiatives have been both instructive and constructive for the school and local communities, as well as for the life of the project.
With the Ntenyo Primary School in its second term of the year, teachers and students are working hard to stay among top schools in the district. Together with Sanejo’s interns, teachers are considerably improving their level of English, which is the medium of education; as well as developing their computer skills. Additionally, Mrs. Violette organized the third psychology workshop for teachers, which had a theme of ‘trauma’ and was held in April, before the commemoration of the genocide.
The Rwandan Education Board held English assessments for the teachers in February, which was conducted on sector levels by school-based mentors. Together with our school interns, teachers prepared the assessment and teachers from Ntenyo scored among the top.
Early April marked Mrs. Violette’s organization of a third psychology workshop for teachers and community leaders; which teachers found to be enormously beneficial. After the training, one teacher stated, “I learned a lot from this workshop. I had my problems, and the children have theirs mostly caused by parents or simply their financial situation. I could not help them the way I should because managing my own problems was difficult, but today I learned how to do a personal assessment and seek help from a colleague if need be. I also learned how to recognize a child who needs help and actually how to help them.”
Furthermore, Sanejo’s interns have moved near the school for the summer holiday. They are now working at the school five days a week, where they help teachers and students in various domains. The interns are helping teachers use ICTs in the classroom, and they are the first public school in the district to be doing this. Interns are also assisting in the reading club, which offers meet-ups for club members twice a week and is striving to maintain a reading culture in the school community for all ages.
In brief, the last three months have been fruitful especially for the education pillar. Teachers’ and students’ English, computer and methodology levels are increasing considerably. There is no doubt that the end of year results will be rewarding.
Though the Ntenyo Primary School was on holiday from the end of October to the beginning of January, the time was well spent with notable achievements from the community. During the holiday period, teachers sacrificed some of their free time for a workshop with Mrs. Violette, a Kigali-based professional psychologist. In addition, the school principal started his retirement this year and the school community, local leaders and Sanejo members threw him a goodbye party for him at the end of January. Please read on for details of each event:
In November, Mrs. Violette organized a second, one-day workshop for teachers. The theme for the workshop was “Caring for children who have problems”. At the end of the workshop, the trainer identified that there was a need for another workshop on trauma, which is scheduled to take place during the end of February or early March; depending on the trainer’s availability. Mrs. Violette held another workshop with teachers on “Taking care of others”, where they learned about how to take good care of both their families and students as well as protect themselves from being affected by others’ problems.
Separately, the Rwanda Education Board has formed a group of mentors supporting primary schools across the country. The mentors help teachers increase their level of English as well as support them on new teaching methodologies, as the majority of mentors are graduates of the KIE. Innocent Munyandamutsa was appointed and works at the school one to two times per week.
Additionally, one of our interns from last year, Anita Ndekezi, stopped working at the school due to increased responsibilities at her university. Thanks to our partners at Generation Rwanda, we found her a replacement, Sabine Uwizeye, who is working with our three other interns (Jean Pierre, Godwin and Florence) to assist students and teachers.
Principal Rurangwa Retirement Ceremony
On January 31st, the school community, diocese and local leaders in charge of education as well as Sanejo representatives organized a goodbye party for Principal Rurangwa who is retiring. Mr. Rurangwa was appointed as the Ntenyo Primary School Principal in 2010, the same year that Sanejo, YAGP and partners started working at the school. He has over 30 years of experience working in education in Rwanda. He started as a primary school teacher, and was later promoted as a principal. Before coming to Ntenyo, he was a principal of two schools.
For the past four years, Mr. Rurangwa has been known for his cleanliness and discipline; which is what teachers and students said he would be remembered for. When he first arrived in Ntenyo, parents did not want to send their children to the school, and both teachers and students who went there were not proud of it. He achieved many things the time he was working at the school including:
Mr. Rurangwa has been replaced by Mrs. Thabita Mukangango, who has ten years of teaching experience and has been a local leader for a couple of years. While we look forward to welcoming Mrs. Mukangango into the community, we are very grateful for Mr. Rurangwa’s support in all of our activities. He surely will be missed at the school.