English Language Fellow Valerie Carpenter helped organize a conference on teaching English for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Rwanda this past June. The conference, which was the first of its kind, was held at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC). Six years ago, the Rwandan government mandated that all courses be taught in English, so this conference focused on the challenges and solutions facing both teachers and students of English.
At the conference, Carpenter presented teaching resources that she developed during her fellowship and outlined how these tools could act as a foundation for continuing collaboration among teachers of TVET in Rwanda. Other presenters focused on e-learning and the use of blogs to enhance interactive teaching.
“E-learning and online resources are seen as especially important in Africa, as print materials are scarce, expensive, and often outdated,” Carpenter said.
The conference was an ideal opportunity for knowledge-sharing among teachers and other stakeholders in TVET education. Instructors from all five IPRCs in Rwanda, along with representatives from technical colleges, the Ministry of Education, and the Work Development Authority, attended the conference. TVET schools are gaining support worldwide because of the successful employment rates for graduates. In Rwanda alone, 98% of graduates secure jobs after graduation.