Generation Rwanda's educational programs are aimed at preparing students for academic, professional and extracurricular success. Curricula are mandatory for all generations of Rwandan students, and our staff is responsible for both program development and administration. All generations of Rwandan students understand that the skills they will develop through these programs are necessary for their development as scientists and future leaders.
For many of our students, English - the language of all university lectures in Rwanda - is their third or fourth language after Kinyarwanda, French and Swahili. Therefore, many of our students enter the program with limited knowledge of English. To help them master the fluency necessary for academic and professional success, we have launched an extensive language training program that lasts from February to September (the academic year in Rwanda begins in January).
Students are placed at one of five language levels, from beginner to advanced. The new generation of language teachers work with each student on their language skills, and it is expected that each student will improve significantly every year to achieve full proficiency in the language. Trainers work on every element of language learning, including verbal expression, listening comprehension and grammar. In addition, as part of the ten-week introductory program, in which all Rwandan students are trained before entering the university, new students must complete an intensive training program in which they study English five days a week.
Very few Rwandan students enter the program with first-class computer skills. That's why we work with students from the very beginning of their stay in the program to develop their ability to be fully computer-oriented. Computer training begins with a comprehensive multi-week curriculum during the new orientation of students, which allows students to acquire Internet skills, basic problem solving skills, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Since the beginning of the academic year, all our students are required to participate in seminars and e-learning courses that allow them to develop their skills. Every generation of the Rwanda group house has a computer, and our office in Kigali has a large computer lab, as well as a small lab located in Butara, for our students attending the National University of Rwanda.
Our career development program is one of the unique elements of our work. Under the guidance of our career development specialist, the purpose of this work is to enable our students to complete internships and work part-time, which will give them new perspectives on the world of work and prepare them for a career. All generations of Rwandan students must complete a refresher internship by the end of their second year of study, and all students must constantly work on creating their resumes. In addition to helping students access opportunities, our career development services aim to help students prepare for careers through activities such as job interview training.
The Rwandan generation expects its students to become leaders in their fields. That is why we have developed a number of programs aimed at developing students' leadership skills. In addition to training seminars where students are introduced to leadership concepts, we also require participation in group projects that develop their teamwork and independent thinking skills. Students also have the opportunity to develop their skills as members of the Student Government Association or as leaders of one of the student clubs.
Over the past year, entrepreneurship has become the main focus of our work. Students have shown considerable interest in entrepreneurship – the generation Rwanda Entrepreneurial Club has 70 members - and we have met the demand of students by providing appropriate training and introducing students to successful entrepreneurs in Rwanda. By the end of this year, we hope to hold the first business plan competition in the history of Rwanda and develop a more comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum for interested students.