Photo credit: Kate Brolley, Chemonics International

Donor: USAID • Partner: Chemonics International •
Nov. 2019 – July 2021

USAID Soma Umenye

USAID Soma Umenye was a five-year project that worked together with the Rwanda Education Board (REB) to improve literacy outcomes for students in grades 1–3 in all government-aided primary schools in Rwanda. A key cross-cutting component of USAID Soma Umenye was the inclusion of all students—those with and without disabilities. Within Soma Umenye, IDP supported a pilot that uses a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach to instruction. The pilot focused on strengthening inclusive education in Rwanda in 25 primary classrooms in one district. Our support included developing a UDL toolkit, training materials, and a coaching guide to help train coaches and mentors on effective UDL support. We also developed a background paper on the challenges in applying the Washington Group Questions to school-based screening and prevalence assessments. In addition, we supported school-based observations to assess and strengthen the use of UDL within the classroom. 


Project Highlights

  • Developed a UDL toolkit and training educators to implement inclusive education methods in their professional practice, with a focus on early grade literacy instruction in Kinyarwanda
  • Garnered the following results: teachers were more comfortable using visual schedules, think-pair-share activities, and small group instructional strategies in large classroom sizes with few material resources  
  • Reviewed and advised the digitization of the Soma Umenye teachers’ guides to increase the focus on inclusion and UDL strategies  

Project Resources