On Thursday June 02, 2016, the Association of Teachers of English in Rwanda (ATER) launched its third national conference at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC) Kigali.
With an attendance of close to 200 English language teaching professionals from the region ranging from researchers, to teachers from primary and secondary schools, to university and higher learning institution lecturers, the 2 day event featured more than thirty presentations that focused around the conference theme: “Better professionalism, better performance: English Language teachers coming together” with emphasis on practical ways that teachers can use to improve their methodology in teaching and using English in academic settings. Among the presenters are special guests from Sudan, Namibia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Uganda, DR Congo, and the U.S., along with a strong showing of Rwandan teachers and lecturers.
Opening the conference officially, the Principal of the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC Kigali) Eng. Diogene Mulindahabi said, underligning the importance of the conference for teachers “This conference is organized on due time. I believe the English language teachers here present will gain more modern skills and methodology for effective English language teaching. Particularly, this conference may help Rwandan teachers gain teaching skills that would facilitate them in implementing the new teaching curriculum that schools have started using recently.”
Welcoming participants to the conference, the President of ATER Mr. Richard Niyibigira stressed the role of partnerships in continuous professional development, commending efforts of institutions that provided funding, ATER organizing team and volunteer presenters who came from all corners of the world.
The event was funded through the U.S. Embassy in Kigali and the East Africa Regional English Language Office from the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam. ATER worked with their designated English Language Fellow, Robert Palisin, and two other English Language Fellows Leanne Cameron, and Jessica Grinner, to bring the event to fruition.