A multimillion dollar project to have all primary and secondary schools end the use of paper books and chalkboards, is behind schedule but the “journey continues”, the education ministry says.
In early 2017, government unveiled the so called ‘Smart Classroom’ project in which all schools were to be installed with state-of-the-art technology classrooms, remove chalkboards, each student own a laptop, and those laptops would be installed with software that blocks students accessing bad content like pornography.
Each laptop would cost parents up to Rwf 200,000 that would be subsidised by government and also paid in installments.
Minister of State in Charge of Primary and Secondary Education Isaac Munyakazi said at the time that by 2020, the project would be complete.
The education ministry now tells The Chronicles in statement: “ICT in education implementation has reached 64 % of primary schools and 55 % in secondary schools. Digital content and the formative assessment are accessed on e-learning platform. The journey continues to reach 100 %”.
For his part, the Minister of Education Dr Eugene Mutimura said: “Besides, as part of child online protection policy, school’s laptops have VPN software blocking unwanted bad content from the main source of the educational content so that computers receive filtered content. Chalkboards will continuously be replaced by white smart boards.”
The planning for this ‘Smart Classroom’ project has been around since as early as 2015. Hundreds of teachers were trained who would in turn train others in the management of the e-classes.