TheAfrican Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and ICDL Africa have formalised a partnership that will see 14 SMART classrooms from 14 districts accredited as ICDL training centres. The 14 SMART classrooms will be used as ICT training hubs by the two institutions to train mathematics and science teachers, over 4000 in number, from the 14 districts.
The ICT trainings will be done as an integral part of the AIMS Teacher Training Program (TTP), one of the key components of the AIMS-NEI Ecosystem. The TTP program is being implemented in partnership with Mastercard Foundation within the training pillar of the Foundation’s Leaders in Teaching Initiative (LIT).
LIT transforms teaching and learning in secondary education across Africa, so young people have the skills and competencies they need to succeed in work and life. The initiative works closely with local and national stakeholders in African countries and supports teachers and school leaders over the lifespan of their careers with a focus on recruitment, training, and motivation that prepares them to deliver quality and relevant learning.
Through the LIT, the Mastercard Foundation is working with a number of partners in the country under the auspices of the Ministry of Education to transform teaching and learning of science across 14 districts and over 650 schools in the country. The partnership between AIMS and ICDL will add great impetus to AIMS’ and Mastercard Foundation’s commitment (through LIT) to promote innovative and evidence-based approaches to improving teaching and learning of mathematics and sciences across Africa.
This position was echoed by the President and CEO of AIMS-NEI Thierry Zomahoun, during the signing ceremony which was held at the AIMS Secretariat in Kigali. In his opening remarks, Mr. Zomahoun stressed thatempowering teachers’ with digital literacy as will be done through the AIMS TTP trainings, is critical to the African continent strategic quest to exploit ICT and digital technologies to engineer and drive its economic growth.
The fact that the partnership also signified some form of tripartite relationship between AIMS, ICDL and Mastercard Foundation also did not go unnoticed by Mr. Zomahoun:
“We have been working with MasterCard Foundation’s Leaders in Teaching Initiative and I was pleasantly surprised that ICDL has also been doing some work with MasterCard Foundation. What this partnership means is that like-minded organizations have joined forces to do greater things.
Through this partnership, AIMS and ICDL will expand and grow together. In September this year, AIMS will establish its operations in Ivory Coast, a country where ICDL is already operating. I believe there too; we can join hands,” said Zomahoun.
Damien O’Sullivan the ICDL Global CEO expressed confidence in the partnership. “At ICDL we always choose carefully who to work with and the feedback I have been hearing from my team is that the people at AIMS are just like us.
Amongst those who gathered to witness the signing of the partnership between the two organizations were Prof. Dr. Sam Yala, the AIMS Rwanda Centre President, Dr. Herine Otieno-Menya Director of the AIMS Teacher Training Program-Rwanda, as well as Solange Umulisa, the ICDL Africa Regional Manager, among others.
Explaining the significance of the partnership, Dr. Otieno-Menya highlighted that a gender and equity lens will guide the implementation of the AIMS TTP-ICDL training and subsequent ICT integration in teaching of mathematics and sciences in Rwandan secondary schools in the 14 districts.
“I can say with certainty that the partnership between AIMS and ICDL will significantly contribute to the realization of the AIMS TTP goal- which is to see an increase in the number of girls and boys pursuing mathematics and sciences at post-secondary education.
The 14 districts whose science and mathematics teachers will benefit from the signed parternship are generally refered to as the Mastercard Foundation LIT districts. They include: Gisagara, Nyaruguru, Nyabihu, Rubavu, Rusizi, Musanze, Ngororero, Karongi, Nyamasheke, Rwamagana, Kayonza, Gicumbi, Kamonyi and Nyanza.