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ITAU to champion creation of school websites and teacher trainings to promote distance learning in the wake of COVID-19

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Members of the ICT Teachers Association of Uganda (ITAU) are going to support efforts by hundreds of Edify partner schools countrywide to establish websites and start distance learning programs recommended by the Government of Uganda in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the state of the nation address by President Museveni on 4th February on the reopening of schools, he said that only 20 percent of the schools population will be at school at a given time to maintain social distancing and avoid the spread of COVID-19. The president emphasized that distance learning will be used to supplement the short time when learners report to school in shift as not all classes will be at school at a given time. A website is very important for a school seeking to run distance learning programs because it enhances communication and information sharing between the schools’ parents, students and other stakeholders.

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Last year, ITAU started supporting Edify partner schools by conducting teacher trainings on education technology and eLearning, and also conducted a survey in which it was revealed that most of the schools did not have online presence. This year 2021, Edify has reached a partnership with a team from the ICT Teachers Association of Uganda (ITAU) to develop web portals for partner schools at a greatly subsidized cost. ITAU will in addition train a specified teacher on how to post updates on behalf of the school whenever need arises.

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Whereas website development is one of the topics on the O level computer studies curriculum, ITAU has since 2017 been encouraging its members (ICT Teachers) to go beyond just doing it for academic purposes and gain more marketable skills in website development with WordPress software. Several trainings such as wordcampsmeetups and workshops have been coordinated by ITAU on web development in conjunction with WordPress meetup chapters. According to W3TechsWordPress powers 40% of all the websites on the Internet, including those without a content management system (CMS) or with a custom-coded CMS.

Ssebunya Moses at #wckla
Mukalele Rogers (on laptop) demonstrating to Members of ITAU who attended WordCamp Kampala 2019

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New Kolibri-Powered e-learning content repository

A pool of educational digital content developed by teachers in the various schools under the National Association of Christian Schools – Uganda (NACSU) will be easily accessible through a joint eLearning platform at http://www.nacsu.org, which will also be connected to
each of the school web portals. This is vital as a response to the challenges posed by COVID19; to continuously aid homeschooling for our learners still at home, integrate technology in the learning processes and during times when schools are closed.

Article by Rogers Mukalele,

National Coordinator, ITAU

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