Rwandan schools are expected to start using smart classrooms by the end of this year as a result of a partnership agreement signed three years ago between the Government of Rwanda and Microsoft to digitize the country’s education sector.
The smart classrooms will give students access to computers and basic softwares as well as internet access to digitize teaching and learning.
Microsoft’s regional education industry manager for West, East, Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, Warren La Fleur told local newspaper The New Times in Kigali last week that the first batch of smart classrooms will be ready by the end of the current fiscal year.
“I would say that before the end of the current financial year you will have smart classrooms in Rwanda where this new way of teaching with digital identity will certainly be in place,” he said.
A Ministry of Education official, Nkubito Bakuramutsa said the project will reduce the cost of delivering learning materials to schools and improve learning outcomes.
“It’s a very strategic partnership. The idea is to ensure that Rwandan students become global citizens capable of working locally, on the continent, but also anywhere in the world,” he said, adding that 500 smart classrooms across the country could be fully connected by August 2017.
Students in all schools are expected to have access to the internet by 2020, as currently, only 531 schools in Rwanda out of the 3,500 are connected, Education Minister Dr Musafiri Papias Malimba said last year.
Rwanda is one of the fastest growing countries in Africa.