Mentorship Community of Practice

The Mentorship Community of Practice leverages information and communication technologies (ICTs) to enable school-based mentors to find and share resources and connect with each other to support Rwanda’s basic education teachers.
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Year launched: 
2013
Launch country: 

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Primary Approach: 
Implementer: 
FHI 360
Cambridge Education [Fund Manager]
Program Description: 

 

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

 

The Government of Rwanda (GoR) has hired and assigned School-Based Mentors (SBMs) to support basic education schools throughout the country (each SBM covers two schools). Previously, SBMs had little contact with each other and little access to resources and information beyond their initial training.

FHI 360’s Mentorship Community of Practice (MCOP) project uses Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to enable SBMs to connect with each other to provide peer support and share resources via an online ‘Community of Practice’ (COP). The project provides high-interest information about Rwanda’s education system, and makes resources available for mentors to use with teachers to improve English-language knowledge and pedagogical practice in Rwandan classrooms.

The purpose of the innovation was for better school based mentoring to improve the quality of teaching of 25,000 teachers in 1,000 basic education schools across Rwanda.

Major activities include: (i) establishing and organising a library of resources to support mentors; (ii) developing online and mobile channels to distribute these resources and connect mentors with each other; (iii) creating partnerships to subsidize online and mobile access to these channels; and (iv) conducting training and outreach activities for all senior mentors and half of the country’s SBMs.The project was flexible in its delivery, e.g. it responded to the need for greater resource and support for SBMs in their mentoring of teachers in English language.

Highlighting Innovation: 
The use of online communities of practice to support educators is established as a good practice, but research on the deployment of these communities in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as through mobile channels, is not well studied.
Key Challenges: 
The rapid expansion of basic education in Rwanda has strained the quality of education and created great demand for effective teachers. Also, the shift to English as a medium of instruction has created an urgent need to improve teachers’ English skills.