Three hundred teachers from different parts of the country completed their training in information and communication technology (ICT) skills on Friday.
This is thanks to the Integrating ICT into Education in Uganda programme funded by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) in partnership with the ministry of Education.
The programme, facilitated under UCC’s Rural Communication Development Fund (RCDF), is aimed at ensuring that teachers are retooled such that they teach ICT or can use the acquired computer skills in teaching other subjects.
The teachers were trained in different modules such as Microsoft office, Power point presentations, Desktop publishing, Computer maintenance – cleaning and installation, among others. Speaking at the closure of the two-week training at Kololo SS, Commissioner for secondary education Francis Agula said: “ICT is everywhere and time will come when every teacher must be ICT literate.”
“ICT has come to stay; dodge it and you will not make it,” he cautioned.
The teachers trained included those from technical schools (BTVET), PTCs, and secondary schools from all regions of the country. Geoffrey Odokonyero, a teacher at Pajule SS in Pader district, commented that the skills acquired would improve his relevance, not only at school, but also in his community.
“This is a lifetime opportunity (training),” he said. “I will use the skills to teach students, fellow teachers and the community members.”
UCC’s RCDF director Bob Lyazi said the retooling programmes would plug the gaps in ICT teaching in most schools. In the run-up to last year’s A-level exams, the ministry of Education hinted at deferring the ICT exams because schools lacked facilities for the exams. And, indeed, some schools missed those exams, according to ministry officials.
With the programme of retooling teachers coupled with giving out computers to schools, government could see the smooth running of the teaching of ICT as a subsidiary in all schools.
Lyazi told The Observer that 90 per cent of public schools and institutions in Uganda had benefited from the programme. Schools without access to the national grid were given solar powered computers. ICT laboratories were constructed in some schools with internet connectivity and content installed for the students’ use.