Yves Iradukunda, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation, Bridget Gyamfi, Program Director at Big Win Philanthropy, and Gaspard Twagirayezu, Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education

Providing half a million Rwandan youth with digital skills and better job prospects

The Big Win:

The Government of Rwanda has set out to establish the country as a globally competitive, knowledge-based economy by 2024. Boosting digital skills amongst the country’s young population is critical to achieving this vision.

The government has partnered with Big Win to design and implement a digital skills training program for students and teachers. Within the first year, 80,000 students and 10,000 teachers will be trained. Over five years, the program aims to provide half a million young people with digital skills and improved job prospects.

80,000 students with digital skills in one year
10,000 teachers equipped to teach digital skills in one year
1/2 million youth with digital skills & improved job prospects in five years

The Partnership

In May 2022, Big Win agreed to a package of support focused on delivering a digital skills training program for teachers and secondary school students. Our support focuses on three key areas.

1. Equipping teachers to deliver digital skills training

Big Win is working with the Ivorian government to conduct a review of the current territorialization strategy, which seeks to provide economic opportunities for youth in regions across the country, reducing the need to migrate to the capital, Abidjan, to find employment. Through this review, we will identify regional economic comparative advantages and binding constraints limiting economic growth. Our support will then enable the government to identify high-impact regional interventions, accurately quantify regional job creation potential, and attract private investments that can accelerate the creation of thousands of quality jobs.

To be able to effectively teach digital skills to their students, teachers also need digital literacy training. Big Win is supporting the training of 200 new master trainers on digital literacy, who will join 130 already trained by the government. These master trainers will receive four days of face-to-face training on 21st Century learning. They will also receive support with project management, ensuring they have the skills to roll out the training to more teachers.

The master trainers will then deliver digital literacy training to 10,000 secondary school teachers within the first year. These teachers will meet face-to-face to introduce them to the program. They will then take part in two ten-week online training programs focused on 21st Century teaching practices, fostering independent and critical thinking and delivering the curriculum for the Digital Skills Passport, an international certification that will be offered to secondary school students.

Big Win is also supporting a training program for 250 school leaders, who will play a critical role in facilitating digital skills training for their students.

2. Providing students with digital skills

In the first year of the program, 80,000 students will take part in a 10-week online course. By the end of the course, they will be able to confidently use a computer in school, at home and in the workplace, including using word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and database management software. They will be awarded with a Digital Skills Passport, which will help them to pursue job opportunities created through Rwanda’s ambitious economic development plan—Vision 2050.

3. Tracking success and identifying support needs

Big Win is also working with the government to monitor the impact of the program and ensure that teachers and students have the support they need to complete their courses on time. This includes baseline assessments to measure trainees’ initial level of digital skills; pre- and post-program surveys to evaluate the program’s effect on perceived skill and comfort levels; classroom visits to check how teachers are applying their skills and training; and a monitoring dashboard to enable government leaders to track progress and identify areas where course correction is needed. The monitoring program will also check that skills gained by students are retained and used to boost their learning and job prospects.

Across these three streams of work, Big Win is working closely with the Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire, and the Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education, Gaspard Twagirayezu, who have collectively set out a bold strategy for building the digital skills needed to support Rwanda’s continued development. The focus on digital literacy is also a critical part of Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation, which is overseen by the Office of the President, the Office of the Prime Minister, and the Cabinet.

Big Win’s investment is designed to complement and build on the success of existing programs focused on digital literacy. These include the Digital Acceleration Project, a program funded by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank focused on improving access to devices and digital literacy for 3.5 million Rwandans; the Giga initiative, which seeks to connect 43% of schools in Rwanda to the internet; and the Smart Classroom project, which has already equipped 13% of schools in Rwanda with digital tools.