The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Teacher Training Program (TTP) organized a math camp that involved 40 high school students including 25 females and 20 teachers from 16 districts in Rwanda. The camp which was held at the AIMS Rwanda Center in Kigali on 22 to 26 July 2019 also involved 20 students preparing for the upcoming Pan African Mathematics Olympiad Competition.
The camp was led by International volunteers from Supporting African Maths Initiative (SAMI) and local volunteers, some of whom are Mastercard Foundation Scholars alumni from AIMS and the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE).
AIMS which is a network of Center of Excellence (CoE) transforming Africa through innovative scientific training, technological advances, breakthrough discoveries, strategic foresight and innovative conducted the programme as part of Mastercard 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 group of 40 high school students engaged in fun, explorative and hands on mathematics problem solving activities. The second group spent hours on end crunching numbers in the form of Olympiad mathematics questions.
One of the teachers, Mukarage Eric, said that the math camp was not only inspiring for the students but also equipped teachers with new information.
“This camp is a very good opportunity for students to learn different ways to solve math questions and as for us teachers we have leaned different ways we can use to teach like using games. We will take what we leant to our respective schools and use it in our classrooms especially for students who did not come for the camp and also we will take it to clubs at the sector level,” said Eric.
The students also had an opportunity to participate in an AIMSRUN4Science initiative which was organized by TTP and aimed at raising public support for promoting mathematics in remote areas.
During the camp, students also had the opportunity to watch the Lion King film in 3D at a local cinema.
In an interview, one of the students, Munyandege Faustine, said the camp provided her with new knowledge and friends.
“I had a lot of experience in this camp where we did many math-related things like puzzles which helped my critical thinking. I met new friends from different districts and we all learned from each other. We brought our thoughts together and shared ideas which made us stronger. I wish that this math camp can continue to reach other students who could not make it to the first one,” said Faustine.
Next year the local volunteers and teachers in collaboration with SAMI and AIMS TTP will organize a number of camps across the LIT districts.
AIMS TTP seeks to raise the quality of mathematics and science education at the secondary level by providing teacher training and professional development courses, promoting best practices and distributing high-quality classroom resources to in-service and pre-service teachers. An effective teacher training initiative is one of the best ways that will effect positive and lasting behavioral change that will contribute to an increased uptake in mathematics and sciences at a national level.