e-Way Tech & Info. Sys | Image Credits: The Daily Monitor
(KAMPALA) – Before this financial year closes in June, government intends to distribute 1,500 solar-powered ipads with Internet to poor households to facilitate access to information and home-schooling.
The teachers will be instructing learners from the school-based computer laboratories, which Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) installed in more than 1,000 secondary schools and tertiary institutions to support continued learning while learners are at home.
The UCC executive director, Ms Irene Kaggwa, said the ipads will be procured at Shs3b under the Uganda Communications Universal Services Access Fund, which was introduced in 2010.
The computers have been installed with content for Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology for O-Level education with hopes to upload more information in other subjects after evaluating how successful the project will be in three years.
“This is the new normal. We are encouraging people to do e-learning and we believe that this is the time for the education sector to embrace e-learning,” the ICT minister, Ms Judith Nabakooba, told the media at her office in Kampala on Thursday.
Ms Nabakooba said some institutions have not yet acquired computers, adding that this would change as ‘government’s resource envelope improves’.
To advance the use of technology in education institutions, Ms Kaggwa said the Ministry of Education has already instructed heads of schools to send annual reports online to reduce direct contact and save travel expenses as officials move to headquarters to submit their accountability.
“We are currently doing pre-pilot exercise where we want to provide solar tablets to each household. We believe it will facilitate the ICT needs for the parents and children. The teachers will be able to send content to the children. There shall be sharing of content. We saw the challenge that was there in the distribution of content during the lockdown and this is to address the challenges,” she said.
Minister Nabakooba cited Butaleja, Amudat and Buvuma as some of the districts where the pilot programme will be done to help poor families access Internet.
She said the outcome of the project will inform government on how to handle ICT matters in education institutions.
“They are going to implement beginning with 1,500 solar powered tabs. They have to study whether it works, whether it makes sense to the users and if it does, we shall have to make a paper for government to adopt,” Ms Nabakooba said.
At least 3,896 teachers have been retrained by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) in digital literacy skills in the last four years.
The UCC is targeting to train 1,800 more this financial year. Also 1,500 community members will benefit from the digital training so that they can easily support the learners and access government programmes online.
Source: The Daily Monitor