LIFE Academy lauds Rwanda for ICT solutions
Written by: George Kalisa
Thursday, April 27th, 2017, 9:51
Mr. Bo Gillgren, the senior officer of the Swedish-based LIFE Academy on Monday said he was impressed by Rwanda’s initiatives and result-oriented ICT programmes, which are integrated in its education system.
Mr. Bo said that the five-year advanced international training programme on ICT and pedagogical development has improved ICT literacy and application in Rwanda and other countries where this programme had been introduced.
“We’ve visited schools like Lycee de Kigali and our experience in the country involves a great deal of lessons to learn from Rwanda, especially on how it has succeeded in integrating ICT in education,” he observed.
Uganda, Tanzania, Cambodia, Zimbambwe, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Liberia, Sweden and Rwanda are some of the twelve nations which have benefitted from the programme carried out by LIFE Academy and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Mr. Bo said that the week-long workshop that ended on April 26 at Umubano Hotel in Kigali was aimed at discussing the evaluation process of the programme with focus on Asia and Africa, adding that they selected a few countries to increase ICT impact.
Highlighting the objectives of the closing programme, social inclusion and sustainable development through an increased integration of ICT in the education system was the focus in contributing to poverty reduction. Others are contributing to capacity building and start-up of change processes in the participants’ organizations in order to integrate ICT in educational policies and strategies at all levels.
“LIFE Academy which was commissioned by SIDA to carry out this programme downsized the number of countries from the original 18 beneficiaries to 12 in order to create more impact on ICT and pedagogical development,” Mr. Bo noted.
LIFE Academy is a global network academy, offering international training programmes in sustainable development such as environment management, renewable energy, climate change; and information and communications Technology.
Mr. Leon Mugabo, the vice chairman of LIFE Alumni Rwanda, an association that brings together 33 Rwandans that have completed the advanced international training in ICT and pedagogical development in Sweden said that they have submitted a concept note to the Ministry of Education (Mineduc) through Rwanda Education Board (REB) to help them find avenues through which they can put their ICT skills to productive use as well as seeking for an official recognition.
He said they also work closely with other relevant institutions such as Workforce Development Authority (WDA) and Smart-Rwanda 2020.
“We have created a common platform and network among members of the LIFE Alumni Rwanda and enhanced cooperation with stakeholders in ICT and education such as Mineduc, WDA and Smart Rwanda 2020,” observed Mr. Mugabo.
He said that much as Rwanda has moved a step forward in ICT applications there was still need to boost capacity building among teachers on how they could integrate ICT in their day-today activities.
Mugabo said the programme was winding up at the time when most people were yearning for ICT skills, adding that a similar programme in future would help more Rwandans access ICT skills as Rwanda strives to build an ICT and knowledge based economy.
Most participants agreed that Rwanda was an eye-opener to other nations in the area of effective integration of ICT application in education. They said that during the five years, they have acquired knowledge and understanding of ICT and pedagogical development, exchange knowledge and experience, build and expand international and national networks.