Entrepreneurship education and teacher training in Rwanda

This study assesses, via a field experiment, how a comprehensive teacher training program affects the delivery of a major entrepreneurship curriculum reform in Rwanda. The reform introduced interactive pedagogy and a focus on business skills in the country’s required upper secondary entrepreneurship course. Both groups received the government’s standard training. In addition, the treatment group was assigned intensive training organized by an NGO for two years. The training consisted of (i) six training sessions during school breaks, ii) exchange visits each term where teachers provided feedback to their peers, and (iii) outreach and support from NGO staff at least twice per year. The control group received only the default government training, which was not specific to entrepreneurship and lacked each of these elements. The program increased teachers’ use of active instruction, consistent with the reform’s features. These effects on pedagogy did not translate into improvements in student academic outcomes or skills. While still in secondary school, treated students increased participation in their own businesses by 5 percentage points, or 17% of the control mean. Wage employment (at others’ firms) declined by a commensurate amount in response to treatment, leaving no effect on overall income. These results suggest substitution between entrepreneurship and employment among students in treated schools.

Policy implications 
Intensive training and on-going support can help teachers obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to adapt to changes in curriculum content and pedagogies deriving from educational reforms. However, not aligning promotional exams to the new curriculum and pedagogical approach can hinder both adherence of teachers to the new curriculum as well as educational outcomes of students who are educated following the new “competency-based curriculum” as opposed to the previous “knowledge-based curriculum”.
Blimpo, M.P. and Pugatch, T., 2019. Entrepreneurship education and teacher training in Rwanda. Journal of Development Economics, 140, pp.186-202.