Our Building Learning Foundations (BLF) team in Rwanda hosted events in ten schools to celebrate International Day for Women in Mathematics which is celebrated every 12th of May. This year the event was hosted under the theme: ‘Breaking the gap in mathematical sciences’ and was held in our ten partner schools that have Girls’ Clubs, a new girls’ education component of the BLF programme.
In Rwanda, despite gender parity at primary level, girls are consistently underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects at upper secondary and tertiary levels. The BLF team is supporting girls to perform better in these subjects as part of its efforts to ensure gender equity.
This is the second time BLF has co-organised celebrations in collaboration with schools around the country. This year, a national event was held at one of the largest government-aided schools in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, and was attended by FCDO’s Education Advisor as well as Rwanda Basic Education’s Mathematics Specialist.
Seven girls who passed the mathematics district test were awarded Mathematics Pupil Activity books as well as Essential Mathematics learning materials.
“I am very happy that I have received an award. I perform well in Maths because my mother helps me with homework at home every day. My hope is that I will continue getting over 90% in mathematics exams. In future I want to be a teacher so that I can help children like me to be excellent in mathematics related subjects” said one of the award recipients, Iradukunda Fiona.
BLF’s Team Leader Salome Ong’ele encouraged the girls who attended the celebration to continue working and breaking the bias around girls and STEM.
“No one should discourage you from studying mathematical sciences at secondary and tertiary level. Girls are able to perform well in these subjects just like your brothers. Keep working hard and achieve your goals in future” said Salome BLF Team Leader.
Last week BLF’s Gender and Safeguarding Specialist was hosted on national television to discuss BLF’s work in relation to girls’ education.
The Building Learning Foundations Programme believes that girls should be supported and encouraged to participate in mathematics without any fear. Any type of underrepresentation inevitably leads to missed opportunities and the loss of mathematical talent – at both an individual and national level. BLF therefore hopes to see stakeholders across the education sector to join us in celebrating and recognising those who have excelled in this field and motivating young people to study mathematics – regardless of their gender.
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