SPECIFIC PROGRAMS BEING INITIATED IN 2017
The key programs being financed and instituted to meet the below goals include:
- The purchase of all textbooks requested by the teachers.
- The purchase and testing of document readers and projection systems that allow teachers to share pages from those books (as well as Rachel content – below), with their students in the class. (The cost of purchasing and shipping books for all students to Rwanda is prohibitive and they become quickly obsolete.)
- The set-up of an all-new “Student Learning Center,” including:
- A large-screen TV room that plays only English-speaking, educational This room will be used only under teacher supervision and will become part of their classroom lessons. (We believe that English language TV is an efficient way to teach proper English to students.)
- A new student library and internet center with 6 computers to start. The internet stations will permit independent student research for the first time. We will be continually adding books to the library on every air trip to Rwanda.
- For more exposure to English, we have set-up a movie projection system in the student cafeteria to allow projection of an English language movie with English subtitles to all students every Friday and Saturday evening under teacher supervision.
- For an outstanding digital library, we are setting up Rachel Pi, free, teaching resources, on all school computers (including all 60 class computers). This resource has over 600 books, hundreds of text books, 200,000 Wikipedia articles, 5000 Kahn Academy Learning Videos and other education resources. In addition, we are installing Rachel Online, a server and wireless hub that allows students to access ten times the Rachel content with a service that feels like actual internet searching (without the exorbitant fees for rural internet service).
- Tablet readers in the library with full access to the Rachel reading and learning resources.
- Audio books and audio courses downloaded on the library computers, with headphones to encourage student listening.
- A program to underwrite half the cost of new computers for all teachers (with teachers paying the other half).
- A decision of the faculty to turn the entire school into an ENGLISH-SPOKEN-ONLY campus, starting Aug. 8, 2017. No Rwandan or French permitted!
- The hiring, beginning July 2017, of a NEW AMERICAN TEACHER VOLUNTEER to: run the new Student Learning Center (TV room and library); download and manage all new learning technologies; and teach advanced English to the teachers. It is our intention to hire a new American teacher/volunteer every year.
- The allocation of 28 full scholarships for the 2017 school year.
The goal is to test in 2017 the technologies that work best in our learning environment and to invest in the expansion of those programs in subsequent years.
The Committee wishes to thank all of the people that have successfully instituted similar programs in other top Rwanda schools for their generous advice as to where to concentrate our efforts.
In order to start this initiative quickly, The Committee members have already found the resources for all year one education expansion initiatives, with the intention of soliciting outside funding and donations for future years and future-needed projects.