vrijdag 6 juni 2014

The ICT4E Programme in Western Uganda: ICT in the English classroom

On Monday 2nd June 2014 I made a visit to our ICT4E programme in Kasese and Kaberole district. This programme is part of the connect4change programme. Local partners are Computers for Schools Uganda (CFSU in Kaberone) and Rwenzori Information Centers Network (RIC-NET in Kasese). Together with Charles Kaliba and John Silco Murugahara of RIC-NET  and Stella of CFSU I visited two schools and a teacher training college. The ICT4E programme consist in both districts of 2 secondary schools and one Teacher training college for primary school teachers. The programme is building capacity of English language teachers to integrate ICT in the teaching of English. Teachers create their own lessons and deliver this lesson to the class with a projector and a laptop. Capacity is built to provide teachers with methodology to prepare multimedia lessons and deliver them in the classroom.

My first visit was to the St Theresa Girls Secondary school in Nsenyi in Kasese district. At the school 6 English teachers including head of department Felix Kule participate in the programme. Felix delivered a lesson about nouns while we were visiting. One of the students: “ Lessons are now more attractive and these days I like English more than other subjects”. Teacher and students were really motivated to use the ICT.

The programme also organizes content creation workshops: CFSU or RICNET work with the teachers to make more interactive content and practice together the delivery of the lessons. The lessons include text, sound, images and sometimes video. They also use role play and assignments with the students. One of the teachers mentioned “the integration of ICT tools in the teaching process has helped to deliver lessons with different methods to cater for visual learners (text and illustrations) and auditive lessons (to listen to the right pronouncation). 

The second school we visited was difficult to reach. The bridge in the value had been wiped away in 2013, but the emergency bridge only two weeks ago. The school was not reachable by car. We used the “boda-boda” at the back of the motorbike we took the mountain road. A steep footpath not really suitable for a motorbike.

The Kilembe Secondary school delivered also a lesson with the project about a poem. The teacher was not trained by RicNet but by the head of department. He was a bit nervous, but that was not really strange while three people are using a video camera in your classroom including me, a musungu. The headmaster told me also that they were using a school management information system that saved them much time. It was locally developed and the school had acquired it recently. 

The way back we did not use the
mountain road. The boda-boda brought us to the destroyed bridge. They took the mountain road and we crossed the river using a temporary emergency bridge. Than they pick us up on the other side to bridge the 2 km destroyed road before we were back at our car.

After an hour we reached Fort Portal were we visited Canon Apollo Core teacher training college were Mwajuma Banuru, the head of the English department. She explained how they train the new teachers in the preparation and delivery of lessons with the use of ICT in English. Their biggest challenge that they can practice at the college, but not yet in the four intern schools were the students will practice in the real primary school classroom.

A long day that started at 6:30 and ended at 18:00 when I arrived in the Rwenzori View Guesthouse in Fort Portal. Just another day in the office!

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