TWB was founded on the idea – and belief – that education is irrevocable and can never be taken away. As TWB bakeries have grown, the TWB Curriculum Package has, too.
When our founding team was preparing for our first training, back in 2015 with the Remera group, I asked myself two important questions when compiling, writing, re-organizing, and synthesizing our lessons: who was the training program for? And, what was the goal of the training?
Using these questions as a launch pad, I have edited the package each year with a methodology known as “backward design.” If our goal is to empower women to be excellent employees at a TWB bakery, then all of our lessons, activities, and objectives need to be in alignment and working towards that goal.
And my, what a labor of love it has been to re-work our content and optimize our resources as much as possible. Curriculum design and writing is a honed skill, one that I have had with me for most of my life, particularly with my father’s experience as an educator for 30+ years. Additionally, I have relied upon skills I learned while in the Peace Corps and from creating curriculum packages for other ventures in the educational world: from school start-ups in Ghana to tutoring programs in Arkansas. Piecing together lessons written by Markey, Meg, and Julie, we developed the first version of our package, culminating in around 150 hours of lessons.
Now, TWB's curriculum follows outlined standards along four primary competencies: life skills, nutrition knowledge, business acumen, and technical baking capacity. These modules are integrated into each Phase of the Curriculum: Phase I (Basic Pedagogy), Phase II (Specialization Training), and Phase III (Bakery Soft Launch), complete with lessons that are both theoretical and practical so that trainees learn the content and practice it, too. We've added many new lessons that we learned are essential (basic math skills, for example) when operating a bakery on a daily basis.
Lessons are tailored specifically for learners who have not had an extensive history within the classroom and include activities that are culturally-relevant and culturally-informed.
Taken together, TWB’s curriculum holds nearly 200 hours’ worth of content to prepare a woman to work inside the bakery. Most importantly, our curriculum package is experiential, human-centric, and accessible.
Better yet, we are pleased to announce that TWB’s vocational training program has been approved by the Workforce Development Authority in Rwanda as a nationally accredited Technical and Vocational Education and Training program. Because of this, every woman who completes our program will not only receive a certificate of completion, but also a transferable vocational education certificate that will enhance her opportunities for gainful employment.
With accreditation, TWB is a viable option for women who cannot attend University and may not fit the mold elsewhere. We bring together vocational skill development with knowledge, exploration, and community.
This is the beauty of education and we look forward to the journey as we continue to innovate, discover, and grow with our bakeries. #breadpower