The Gift of Teaching

Aymard Mbona, a Cisco Networking Academy instructor in Kigali, Rwanda, uses his ten years of experience and hope for his country's future to deliver course content effectively. His students admire his dedication and passion for teaching. With sensitivity to their cultural and language differences, he delivers a balanced series of class sessions.

Aymard teaches the next generation of Rwandans how to build a strong technological infrastructure.

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Aymard delivers course content.

Rwanda shows the scars of its recent civil war, but the students at the Integrated Training Center in Kigali are working to move their country forward. Their instructor, Aymard Mbona does his best to provide quality training in 21st-century skills, doing his part to secure his country’s technological future and meet the mission of the center.

The E-ICT Integrated Training Center Website

The twelve men and three women in Aymard’s CCNA 3 class come from different regions and countries. All speak English, but with varying degrees of fluency. Aymard himself switches easily among four different languages—Kinyarwandan, Swahili, French, and English—which proves to be an asset in this diverse community of learners.

Through Aymard’s use of humor, his knowledge of his students, and the connections he makes to life outside of the classroom, a strong sense of community is created. Aymard keeps students involved, asking content-based questions throughout his lecture. Although congenial and relaxed as an instructor, Aymard remains the authority in his classroom as well as the subject matter expert.

Aymard uses a variety of teaching methods with his students.

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Aymard’s enthusiasm for teaching shines through.

Aymard incorporates a variety of teaching methods and activities to engage and challenge his students. His class sessions include various combinations of reading, lecture, group work, computer-based activities, student presentations and critiques, open discussions, and both formal and informal assessments. Student feedback, from questions posed during discussion to responses on tests, helps Aymard pace content delivery. As he lectures, students interrupt with questions. Aymard describes this as an “open lecture” and seems at ease with the format.

The open nature of his classes requires Aymard and his students to be flexible. On this day, class begins almost an hour late and runs beyond the scheduled time. A great deal of content is packed into each class session. Some students stay afterward to do further research on the internet, since they do not have access outside of class.

Students are challenged to do their best.

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Students explore online resources.

Each day, Aymard begins class by presenting the objectives and daily schedule. Aymard ensures that students understand the required pass rate for their previous module. He will not accept minimum effort or achievement, knowing that exams are part of the process of preparing students for their careers. So far, though, no students have taken the industry certification exam—mainly due to the cost and lack of a nearby testing center. Nonetheless, many students have found satisfying, meaningful employment upon completion of the program.

When new material is introduced, Aymard supports his students by answering questions, reviewing notes, and highlighting important terms in his lectures. Following lectures, students work in lab groups to create an action plan. The students work together, present their plans, and answer questions raised by their analysis. Aymard’s goal is for students to form an effective team to solve real-world problems.