This program was piloted with support from the Innovation for Education Fund, a partnership between the Governments of Rwanda and the UK, managed by Cambridge Education
In 2014, Know Zone began its first ever series in Rwanda for children in P6 (11-12 years old). Know Zone Rwanda supports literacy, numeracy and life-skills learnt through a combination of drama, storytelling, animation and studio-based programs, backed up with interactive support materials. However, adapted to best suit the context, Know Zone Rwanda is less broadcast-led and places more of an emphasis on being used in classrooms with the addition of interactive activities and explanations in Kinyarwanda to support emerging English language skills. During the course of every Know Zone Rwanda program, audiences and teachers alike are invited send an SMS from their mobiles to 7788 if they would like any help and advice detailing more, critical information on the key issues covered, or if they wish to interact with the show on other issues. Know Zone is unique in becoming the first ever children’s TV show in the country, as well as using a solely Rwandese crew and cast. The show has been received positively by critics and viewers alike as children make the difficult change from French to English.
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CEI approaches in action
- Make a choice where to focus: edutainment for TV or TPD video material production
- If the TPD option is selected, consider the consequences in terms of delivery (TV, mobile phones, or others) and engage in dialogue with REB, other relevant agencies and the TWG on TPD on how to make this happen. Try to integrate this work within the broader context of REB in-service teacher training. Make sure that the video is part of a wider package of support,
- including peer learning (a ‘blended approach’)
- If the TV edutainment option is selected, engage with the relevant stakeholders and try to attract funding for a high quality TV learning show for Rwandan children, building elements of further improving the capacity of the Rwandan media industry and REB. The interest of RBA to invest some of its own funds in such a TV production could assist in attracting additional investment.
Monitoring & Evaluation
The evaluation design was a quasi-experimental study (teachers with general exposure and intensive exposure to the programmes evaluated at baseline and end-line), though the samples are too small for this to be considered truly ‘experimental’. The study focused on quantitative measures of student learning outcomes in English and mathematics (using tests developed by the project), and questionnaires to teachers and trainee teachers on their subject knowledge and their behaviour and attitudes towards pedagogy (including the use of ICT). This was accompanied by a small number (15) of systematic classroom observations to consider the changes in teachers’ pedagogy. Student and teacher information on their access and viewing of KnowZone programmes was collected along with interviews and Focus Group Discussions with teachers and students.