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Building Learning Foundations



Through our Building Learning Foundations (BLF) programme, we worked with the Rwandan Ministry of Education, Rwanda Basic Education Board and National Inspection Authority to strengthen Rwanda’s education system.

The five-year programme focused on improving learning outcomes in English and mathematics in all 3,000 public and government-aided primary schools in the country. Our approach connected three foundations:

  • teacher development - building the capacity of teachers of English and mathematics
  • leadership for learning - promoting a peer-led coaching programme and professional development courses for school leaders
  • system strengthening - fortifying the broader education system infrastructure to improve the management and oversight of education reform.



Over the course of the BLF programme, which impacted 5 million learners in its lifetime, teaching proficiency and leadership skills substantially improved:

  • 90% of maths teachers are now at benchmark proficiency levels (an increase from 27% in 2018).
  • 69% of English teachers are at benchmark proficiency (an increase from 22% in 2018).
  • After completing the CPD course in leading learning, 90% of headteachers are benchmarked as competent leaders
  • More than 90% of headteachers attend monthly professional learning community meetings.

As a result, 59% of Primary 3 pupils were achieving grade-level proficiency in English by endline in 2023 (up from just 17% at baseline) and 46% were achieving this proficiency in mathematics (up from 22% at baseline).

Find out more about the Building Learning Foundations programme.

Key points

  • The Building Learning Foundations programme focuses on establishing solid foundations at lower primary level in all government and government-aided schools.
  • We have been accelerating system-level reforms, reaching 44,000 professionals, including over 3,000 school leaders.
  • Our work has increased the number of teachers and headteachers meeting competency benchmarks in key areas. In mathematics, only 27% of teachers in Rwanda were meeting these benchmarks in 2018 – and in English, just 10% were meeting this standard. By 2022, this had increased to 57% in mathematics and 51% in English.