The Educate! Exchange Program in Rwanda
Educate! is supporting Rwanda’s national entrepreneurship curriculum reforms by including packaging portions of the Educate! model which is being used in the new entrepreneurship curriculum, and by testing an innovative new teacher training program, the Educate! Exchange, which supports teachers in adopting the new skills-based curriculum, leading to the practice of entrepreneurship skills in schools. The Educate! Exchange is driven by the amazing and dedicated people involved - the teacher trainers and passionate Youth Leaders, who work in schools as mentors, support business clubs, and train students to make products.
Rwanda’s Entrepreneurship Curriculum Includes:
Skills Labs is the experiential education teaching pedagogy aspect of our model (i.e. the way we teach students by doing) and is a core part of Rwanda’s new curriculum reforms. We have packaged this aspect in the Skills Lab structure to give teachers a tool to use for any subject matter that makes learning more interactive, student-focused and practical. This is a valuable tool to help teachers shift into more experiential-based learning.
Student Business Clubs are student-led clubs where students experiment with starting one or more enterprises in a team setting. The clubs provide an experiential platform for students to acquire critical 21st century and business/employability skills that will enable them to meet the demands of the labor market or create their own jobs if that market fails them. Students taking the Entrepreneurship Subject participate in Student Business Clubs to gain practical experience starting real businesses.
Educate! Exchange Program Components
Teacher exchange visits are the core of our innovation in Rwanda. They give teachers an opportunity to visit each other’s schools to see the innovative ways their peers are putting the new curriculum into practice. These visits are a way supporting teachers to incorporate the new curriculum, while also providing coaching and professional development opportunities.
We rare running workshops to prepare entrepreneurship teachers for the new curriculum. We are also producing structured lesson plans for teachers to help them adopt the new Skills Lab and Student Business Clubs.
Educate! staff will provide training to students on how to make products. Skills Trainings give students the opportunity to learn a valuable skill, such as soap or candle-making, practice entrepreneurship, use creativity and teamwork, and act as job creators in their communities.
Educate! will also host a National Student Business Exhibition. The exhibition is a high visibility event celebrating youth enterprise, ingenuity, and community spirit. It has been a highlight of the year in Uganda every year we have organized it, and in Rwanda it will be open to every secondary school student in the country. From our experience, the exhibition is one of the most motivational activities driving our students to succeed in their entrepreneurial projects, and the most inspiring for us as we see the amazing work our students are capable of and the big dreams they can achieve.
The Educate! Exchange: Youth Leaders in Action
Our eleven frontline workers, Educate! Exchange Youth Leaders, support entrepreneurship teachers in delivering Skills Labs, mentor students running Student Business Clubs, and monitor the quality of the program. They are the heartbeat of the program, as they are passionate about youth development, committed to excellence, and believe that youth are the solution. Each youth leader is a budding entrepreneur, so their personal challenges, triumphs, and experiences can serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for their students. Youth Leaders also share feedback to influence program design and ensure high program quality. They understand the lessons learned in Rwanda will directly inform expansion in future countries.