WEST NILE, UGANDA- On the 5th of February 2018, the ICT in Education Project handed over 305 Laptops and 75 tablets to the District Education Officer. The laptops are to be distributed in 20 schools within Arua.
The ICT in Education project is implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation in Partnership with Dubai Cares and the government of Uganda. The project seeks to improve the use of ICT in education delivery in the West Nile Region for both the pupils and teachers.
The hand over event that was held in the office of the District Education Officer and also had the other important stakeholders like the RDC, LC 5 Chairman, CAO, 5 head teachers and some pupils to witness the hand over.
The project has been on since 2015 in the districts of Arua, Koboko and Yumbe with each district having its own unique component for example in Arua the project has piloted with 20 primary schools where laptops and tables have been distributed with digital content developed by the teachers, education officers, inspectors of schools and also the coordinating center tutors form the teacher training colleges. This content has been uploaded into the tablets and laptops targeting primary one and two pupils. The content used is both in Lugubara and English. The content is used to reinforce what is already being taught in the class rooms and make education more interesting for the pupils.
The project also have the component of supporting teachers through teachers’ professional development, a service provider ECO-Mobile developed an SMS platform working with MTN and Airtel with a short code from Uganda Communication Commission that is used by the teachers to share content teacher to teacher.
The team at the Aga Khan Foundation carries out intensive monitoring and evaluation to seek to better understand the impact of the intervention, it is against this background that it was discovered that the laptops shared earlier were not enough with more pupils than the laptops/tablets in each of the 20 schools. The team at the Aga Khan Foundation put in a request to Dubai Cares for the provision of more laptops and this was granted. 305 Laptops for the pupils and 75 tablets for head teachers to monitor the work being done.
Faith (a pupil) from Mvara Junior Primary School said “This ICT has helped us with a lot learning, reading and spelling addition to learning about farms. “
Beatrice the Head Mistress of Mvara Junior Primary School said “This project has really helped us a great deal, right now the children are learning computer and the ones who already learnt are now teachers helping their fellow pupils. The teachers’ are also integrating this in all the subjects for example they make their class lists using the computers and are now like mentors to other schools where this project is yet to reach. As a result the project has also boosted enrollment and also improved performance with the children being able to read. The one issue we face is that the laptops are not enough otherwise we are thankful”
The district education officer thanked the Aga Khan Foundation for their interventions in the effort to improve the education in system in Arua. He thanked the foundation for working closely with Education office. He said “This was just a dream at the start but now look where we are am sure the future is bright”
The RDC commended the Aga Khan Foundation for the great job being done and promised to use his office to support the intervention and other Aga Khan projects yet to come. He also called upon the pupils who were in attendance to take the opportunity to learn ICT very seriously given the modern world in which they live.