Transforming Education & Developing Leaders
Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology (GGAST) is a model school of innovative student-centered learning. Students and teachers work in a collaborative fashion to ensure that students acquire the knowledge and skills they must have to succeed on the Rwandan National Exams and to succeed in life. Students are expected to become “masters of their own fate” by working hard and to work effectively in groups. They learn how to ask good questions in class and to take advantage of the teachers’ willingness to offer extra help. Our students develop “meta cognition”—to know how they learn best and to use their strengths to help overcome weaknesses.
Further we empower the girls to achieve full agency by offering leadership opportunities, teaching mental health literacy, developing social and emotional skills, and intentional programming like direct involvement in school decision-making processes.
Armed with the belief that they have a connection to their local community, students feel a responsibility to play an active role in impacting change. Each week students serve the local community including computer skills training, primary school English tutoring and volunteering at the local medical center.
We created a culture that fosters a deep belief in oneself and one another. Gashora Girls know that anything is possible– and they are strongest when they support and encourage one another
Girl Up Rwanda is a UN-sponsored movement uniting girls to change the world. The Girl Up chapter at GGAST was founded in 2013, and Gashora Girls have expanded the initiative to 9 other schools in Rwanda including two poorly resourced government schools in Gashora Village.
“When we go outside of school (GGAST), things really change. When I go home, I am expected to do things my five brothers do not have to do like house chores. I face the same challenges as other girls in Rwanda, but other girls do not even question them. For Gashora Girls, we know what the obstacles are and we discuss them and find solutions to empower us through Girl Up workshops and events.”
Belise Bwiza, GGAST Class of 2015, Smith College Class of 2020
A GirlUp International Night.