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
This project pilots a new way to engage parents and the wider community to curb school drop-out rates, and improve school completion rates. At school, the approach strengthens the capacity of PTAs in school management and works closely with head teachers and teachers to mitigate school dropout.
In the community, radio talk shows and ‘community education workers’ (CEWs) reach out to parents and encourage them to step in and actively play a role in their children’s education with regard to drop-out. Parents were given support to identify and address the challenges that lead to school drop-out.
Among the core responsibilities of the CEWs during the implementation of the innovation is to pay visits to the homes of children who dropped out, discuss the reasons for drop out with the children and their parents, address the challenges they face and raise awareness about the importance of completing school.
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CEI approaches in action
- IMBUTO and MINEDUC to agree on the joint development and implementation of the scale up of this project, based on the initial desire expressed by MINEDUC to indeed go for upscaling of this innovation
- IMBUTO and Ministry to agree on the budget envelope and how the budget requirements will be met, including deciding on which cost components can be covered by the Ministry as well as identifying the need for attracting external funding
- As part of scale up planning, decide on the role of IMBUTO and the planning of the trajectory towards full Ministry ownership and management, including technical assistance components to ensure system readiness
- MINEDUC to consider broader systemic implications of scale-up - notably the establishment of the CEW position and how this is supported, and the possible role of complementary MINEDUC led behaviour change mass communications. The existing MINEDUC education programme on radio and TV could be effectively used for this purpose.
Monitoring & Evaluation
The evaluation comprised quantitative measures for drop out and re-integration of targeted students, and self-reported attitudes and behavior of a variety of stakeholders (teachers, head
teachers, SEOs), along with follow-up qualitative interviews and focus groups with parents and learners. Some comparisons are made from baseline to end-line.
The evaluation indicated that there has been an increase in reintegration across the districts, e.g. in Gasabo district, where there had been 2,712 primary students re-integrated in 2013, this increased to 9,484 in 2015. However, there are no data on their retention. The latter may need more time and may not be possible to establish in the pilot period. Anecdotal information suggested that a high percentage of the reintegrated children were still in school by the end of the project.
General improvement in the drop out and integration at district levels cannot be attributed to the innovation, though some contribution is assumed. These improvements for targeted students are accompanied by more involvement and positive attitudes of parents. The role of CEWs and the interaction with communities was received well and this innovative component of the project, in particular, is thought to have made a difference.
The results are undermined by poor sampling, lack of demonstration of validity and reliability of instruments, and no statistical testing of differences where these apply.
8,939 students reintegrated since implementation