In a small classroom, with barely enough desks to fit all of the students and no light except for the few sunbeams that make it through the small windows, a wonderful lesson is being taught. Florence, a Grade Three teacher at Akimitoni School in the rural Nyabihu district, has made a commitment to providing her students with the best education possible despite such a lack of resources
And she’s succeeding
In 2015, Wellspring entered into a partnership with the Association of Baptist Churches in Rwanda (AEBR) to launch the Christian Foundations in Education (CFE) program. This two year program saw Wellspring provide quality education training in fifteen AEBR schools (with leadership training in an additional seven) across three western school districts. Akimitoni is one such school, and Florence is one of the teachers who was selected to receive high-level training from Wellspring and equipped to pass her newly acquired quality education techniques along to her colleagues. Florence took her training to heart and applied these new skills with an eager spark.
As part of the final stage of our CFE program, Wellspring conducted surprise visits to schools to see if teachers were utilizing these quality education techniques every day, not just when they knew they would be observed. When our trainers arrived at Akimitoni School the day before the program ended, Florence was not expecting them.
But that didn’t matter because Florence has consistently been using Wellspring’s techniques to the fullest extent.
We were welcomed into her classroom with open arms and greeted by the smiling faces of students, beaming at their teacher and eager to begin their lesson. Immediately, our trainers knew that Florence had used her new skills to create a home of trust and learning in her classroom. As the lesson progressed, Florence seamlessly integrated all of her skills to create an engaging and informative lesson. Most importantly though, she infused real world values into each child’s learning. The integration of values and crosscutting issues is new in classrooms across Rwanda, stemming from the recently adopted Competence-Based Curriculum. This initiative focuses on creating competent citizens and helping students learn how to apply the concepts they learn in school to their lives.
Florence has mastered this.
In her math lesson about currency, Florence taught the students how to identify the difference between 2000RWF and 5000RWF notes. As a group activity, they studied the two bills and wrote lists of what they could buy with each at the local market. Another teacher may have finished the lesson here, having already achieved the learning outcomes, but Florence wants her students to be equipped for success in their lives. And so she continued the lesson by teaching them the value of money. Her Grade Three students learned about the importance of budgeting and saving, as well as the necessity of respecting the bills by keeping them clean and not writing on them. The kids followed along eagerly, excited about a lesson that provided them with real skills and knowledge they can use outside of the walls of their classroom.
All of this is because Florence used her skills learned from Wellspring and applied them to her lesson. She cultivated a classroom of respect where her students trust her to speak into their lives. We are so happy to see the wonderful teacher that Florence has become and we know that she will continue in her growth as she spreads these skills to other teachers.
Though our CFE program has recently wrapped up, Wellspring has been encouraged by the success seen in these Western Province schools and we are excited for our next step in this region. We learned a lot through this program and are now preparing to launch our entire School Development Program in all 86 primary schools in the northwestern district of Rubavu. To learn more about this expansion, check out our recent gala videos. But for this new project to be successful, we need your help and partnership. Will you join with us on Wellspring’s most ambitious journey yet as we seek to bring quality education to 91,500+ new students and 86 new schools?
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