COVID-19 lockdown: Government takes to distance learning
The Ministry of Education has made all the e-learning platforms accessible to students free of charge in a bid to facilitate homeschooling amidst the ongoing lockdown over coronavirus.
Since the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Rwanda a fortnight ago, Government tightened measures it deemed adequate to mitigate the risks of further spreading of the virus.
Among other measures, a decision was made that all schools and higher education institutions (both public and private) would close for an initial two-week period starting Monday, March 16, 2020.
This period will most likely be extended given that a week after, a two weeks of countrywide lockdown went into force after the number of cases increased in Rwanda.
Currently, there are 40 confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Rwanda.
The implication is that institutions in charge of education must look at leverage the countrywide ICT infrastructure to ensure students are remotely taught as they wait for the reopening of schools after the virus has been contained.
In this context, the ministry of education has opened several platforms for students to use during this period as everyone is unsure of when normalcy will be restored.
According to the Ministry of Education, they have partnered with telecommunication companies to avail the platforms to students free of charge.
“In a bid to continue learning amidst schools’ closure due to Coronavirus prevention guidelines, Telecommunication companies have partnered with us and we are pleased to share the following resources available free of charge”, reads a tweet from the ministry.
Those websites range from the nursery school platforms to university websites where all learning materials have been provided to help students at all levels who want to remotely keep track of their studies.
The website http://elearning.ur.ac.rw contains courses for UR students in all faculties. However, students from private universities were also encouraged to use the same tool as well.
The website http://elearning.rp.ac.rw contains courses for vocational learners at all levels (TVET and IPRCs).
Nursery, primary and secondary students
For nursery, primary and secondary schools; an online platform http://elearning.reb.rw has been set up and all courses as per national curriculum are uploaded.
With all these resources, there are questions that can be used in the assessment of the students.
However, the ministry acknowledged some students who might not have the resources to access the platforms like those without a laptop and others in areas with poor internet connectivity.
For these, the ministry said that soon, there will be televised programmes which will be broadcast on television.