Rwanda Digital Schools: A scalable project by Computer Aid International, in conjunction with ICDL Africa.

This project has established 8 Digital Schools (with 40 PCs each), across Kigali, Rwanda. In total, the project has supplied 320 PCs, 24 laptops, assistive technology to aid classes, and impacted over 8,000 students from underprivileged communities in the project’s 2 phases. 

For many students attending these institutions, this project has provided the first opportunity to access ICT.  Computer Aid has also offered each participating school local training and teacher capacity-building through its partner ICDL Africa, ensuring that the benefits of ICT continue to be passed on to other educators within the school.  

The project aims to enhance the quality of learning, educational achievement and life chances of school children from Kigali, by increasing their access to 21st-century resources and the opportunities these resources enable. In Phase 1 (working in partnership with a local technical partner, Communication Solutions LTD and ICDL Africa headquartered in Kigali) we installed a computer laboratory, trained teachers in ICT and provided teacher aids to bring value to them as educational key-holders, increasing the sustainability and their motivation to maximise access for their students. 

Why is this project needed?

ICT is a recognised tool for supporting quality education and training, and ICT literacy has become important in helping young adults to find work. UNESCO now promotes ICT training as a main component of education in primary and secondary schools, whilst ICT skills have become a prerequisite for many types of career, yet access to ICT remains extremely low in many countries. In Rwanda, despite ICT being the government's principal method to transform the country into a knowledge-based economy, just 18% of the population use the internet, compared to 82% in the UK. 

Our Local Partners

To deliver Phase 1 of the Rwanda Digital Schools project, Computer Aid has worked in partnership with ICDL Africa who are headquartered in Kigali. 

ICDL (International Computer Driving Licence) and Computer Aid have worked in partnership for over six years. ICDL is the world’s largest computer skills certification programme, with 14 million candidates in 150 countries. Through this partnership, Computer Aid aims to support and enhance institutional capacity in developing countries and the ICT compliance of schools for the benefit of their students. ICDL continues to grow as a universal standard of excellence in ICT qualifications from basic to advanced processes. Computer Aid will work with ICDL in Rwanda to train and qualify an average of 3 teachers per school in each beneficiary school in five basic ICDL modules (Computer Essentials, Online Essentials, Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Presentations) and in the ICT in Education module, a module specifically designed for teachers.  

What do we hope to achieve? 

By increasing access to 21st-century resources and training teachers to support student-centric learning, the project will support ICT enabled change. The project will enhance the quality of education, improve independent study and advance the skills and life chances of school children from Kigali, Rwanda.   

The benefits for teachers include:  

  • A more diverse, contemporary and innovative range of teaching infrastructure and materials used in the classroom 
  • Inter-institutional knowledge transfer of modern teaching techniques using ICT, helping educators to develop their professional skills 
  • ICDL accredited learning and accreditation in all 4 basic and 2 intermediate modules; these include Computer Essentials, Online Essentials, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations and ICT In Education. This increase in skills will thereafter positively impact students through higher quality computer-based learning in classes. 
  • The ICT in Education module will support teachers to effectively use ICT in their classes. 
  • Reduction of teacher isolation by enabling them to connect with educators in other schools and improve retention of teachers 
  • Improved access to a wider range of resources, which helps teachers to keep their knowledge up to date 
  • Make teaching conceptual subjects easier and faster by enabling the use of computers over chalk and a blackboard, Improving the delivery of content in the academic syllabus with a set timeframe (this has been an invariable observation in almost all of our IT for education projects)  

The benefits for students include: 

  • Promote interactive learning for students and the ability to apply their computer skills in other academic subjects, with a focus on competency 
  • Support active learning, explorative and critical thought (developing students who are more receptive to conducting independent learning. 
  • Improve student scores in ICT assessment (both theory and practical) through increased access, usage and training in ICT 
  • Support students to understand both complex and intangible subjects – particularly relating to physics and mathematics. (In previous ICT for education projects, our partners have observed female students, in particular, starting to show a much greater interest in these subjects) 
  • Encourage more interactive student-teacher engagement 
  • Improve student motivation – improving student retention and attendance with a hope to impact achievement levels 
  • Improved student confidence for the world of work or further education, where most jobs will require computer literacy and the ability to research jobs and resources online. 

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Quality Education Our work contributes directly to Target 4.1 of SDG 4, by improving secondary school educational outcomes for boys and girls. Additionally, students are gaining relevant technical skills that will improve their job prospects, contributing to Target 4.4.
Gender Equality This project directly contributes to Target 5.B of SDG 5, since we select schools who have a similar ratio of girls to boys and actively promote the usage of equipment by both genders, ensuring that no individual is excluded.
Industrial By providing 10 secondary schools with computer labs and assistive technology such as projectors, allowing thousands of students to access information and communications technology, we are directly contributing to Target 9.C of SDG 9.
12 ICT Equipment used in projects is donated largely from companies; equipment is data-wiped and refurbished before being sent to projects. Therefore, this project is directly contributing to Target 12.5 from SDG 12, by reducing e-waste and allowing technology to be reused.


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