By Aimee Carlson
Published: June 20, 2018
The Iteme Program is a higher education preparation program designed to help people looking to continue their education journey, specifically those who often struggle to reach such opportunities. Throughout the program, students have the chance to practice their spoken and written English, improve their English reading comprehension, practice basic math skills, and gain professional competency skills that may be necessary throughout higher education admission processes.
The program aims to reach two main populations. The first group are Burundian and Congolese refugees based in Kigali or at one of the six refugee camps around Rwanda. The second group are Rwandans with vulnerable backgrounds, who may not have the support or finances to apply to institutions following secondary school.
Presently, Iteme operates at three locations, two in Kigali City and one at Mahama Refugee Camp and serves around 140 students. The participants are 70% Burundian refugees, both urban and at the camp, and 30% Rwandans.
The classes operate in a rotational system, with students participating in Teaching Assistant-led lessons by current Kepler scholars in addition to reading or writing activities, and self-guided learning on tablets. Some lessons focus on resume writing, networking, interviewing skills, and proper email etiquette. In addition to these professional skills, students work on improving their public speaking skills through speeches and debates, their reading comprehension through short-story book clubs, and their writing skills through practice essays. At the end of the program, participants receive certificates and will have gained skills that can help them not only get into university but help them succeed once they’re there as well.
Iteme staff have been working to build partnerships with other universities in Rwanda, scholarship programs, and vocational or technical schools. Institutions that show an interest in the program are invited to give presentations the programs they offer and their application process. Some representatives from the institutions have even helped our students apply on the spot to their programs or have arranged for the students to visit their campuses for a tour and to apply in person. The goal of introducing students to these institutions is to make them aware of their opportunities to further their learning.
Although, the Iteme Program is not currently accepting new students, make sure to check back in August and September to hear about the latest round and where we’ll be launching next!