The goal of the training workshop, held on 9-12 January 2018, was to improve geoscience and biodiversity education and understanding in Rwanda by 1) linking institutions working on environmental issues and geoscience with secondary schools teachers and 2) to provide state-of-art content relevant to Rwanda and to assist in integration of content into student-centered teaching content and curriculum. This goal will help teachers in preparing youth to contribute to green economy initiatives by supporting improved science teaching and strengthening connections between science research and secondary school science teaching. Workshop participants included 16 distinguished secondary science teachers from different districts across the country, 16 subject matter instructors from nodes and partners of the CoEB and invited guests for the first day. The educator/facilitator was Dr Chris King; Emeritus Professor of Earth Science Education at Keele University in the United Kingdom.
Participants of the Teacher training workshop
The first two days of the workshop were devoted to presentations and discussions on geoscience and biodiversity within a Rwandan context, including the state-of-knowledge and current issues. Presentations included an overview in geoscience and methods used in hands-on science education; introduction to biodiversity, ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation; climate change impacts on wetlands ecology and insect diversity; biodiversity in Volcanoes Nation Park; climate change impacts on ecosystems and human health; climate and atmospheric science in Rwanda; ecology of Nyungwe National Park; air quality in Rwanda; mountain gorilla biology, conservation and ecological importance; soils and soil conservation issues in Rwanda; and the ecology of Lake Kivu.
Dr Brigitte Nyirambangutse presentation on biodiversity, ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation
The final two days of the workshop focused on demonstrations, discussions and exercises, conducted indoors and outdoors, on active teaching approaches and curriculum enhancement based on the content presented in the first two days. The training workshop concluded with discussions on hands-on learning approaches and how to translate the geoscience and biodiversity content provided by the scientists into hands-on learning activities for the secondary level classrooms.
Group discussions on hands-on learning approaches
The workshop provided secondary school teachers with the state of knowledge and current issues for geosciences in Rwanda; training in active-teaching approaches; and interactive connections between schools, scientists and scientific organizations in Rwanda to help them improve the education and understanding of geosciences, biodiversity and environmental conservation in Rwanda.
Dr Marie Christine Gasingirwa, DG Science, Technology & Research MINEDUC awarding certificate to a teacher after evaluation