Author(s): DeStefano, Joseph; Ralaingita, Wendi; Costello, Michael; Sax, Alexander; Frank, Abigail
Organisation(s): RTI International; USA. Agency for International Development
Pages: 57 p.
When measuring an education system’s quality or effectiveness, we can pose some basic questions: Are children learning to read? Are they learning basic math skills? Are they acquiring those skills early enough in primary school to secure the foundation for further learning? In Rwanda, like in many countries, more than one language is used in school. Therefore, students are expected to learn to read and must understand and express basic math concepts in at least two languages: Kinyarwanda and English. Thus, when measuring the effectiveness of Rwandan primary schools, these two languages must also be taken into account. English replaced French as an official language of instruction in 2008, so expectations for what children (and teachers) can do in English at this point in time should be limited. In 2011, Kinyarwanda became the official language of instruction in the first three years of primary school. However, children must learn English well enough in the early grades of primary school to use it as the medium of their continued education. It is one thing to measure whether students are learning to read and master basic math skills. Also of interest is understanding why students may learn more or learn faster in some schools than in others. Therefore, in addition to assessing learning outcomes, this report wants to measure which schools create environments that support learning. It asks questions such as: Do students and teachers have the materials they need? Do students and teachers spend enough time engaged in activities that support learning? And, what instructional practices are teachers using?