ICT clubs for students in 23 schools are set for establishment this year 2019, with support from Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) in conjunction with facilitators / team from Kisubi Associated Writers Agency (KAWA). The 2019 program follows the success of the first phase of the ICT Clubs Pilot Scheme which was started last year 2018.
The selected schools for 2019 include Butsibo S,S,; Nyabiteete S.S.; Nyakiyumbu S.S.; Wekomire S.S.; Vision S.S.; Kambuga S.S.; Trinity College, Nabingo; Mubende Light School; St. Elizabeth Girls’ School; Semuto S.S.; St. Henry’s College, Kitovu; Seeta College; Apac S.S.; Sir Samuel Baker S.S; Kitgum High; Palisa S.S.; Nyangilia S.S.; Dzaipi S.S.; Bududa S.S.; Bukeda Comprehensive Academy; Soroti S.S.; Rock High School; and Iganga Girls School.
The launch of ICT Clubs has already been completed in a number of schools. Below is a photo gallery including photos from schools where the launch has been completed this year 2019.
Over the past decade, about 1000 secondary schools in Uganda have benefited from a government program to equip them with computers and other items as a strategic plan to build capacity of schools in ICT in Education. It was implemented by UCC under its Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF).
The schools selected for launch of the ICT Clubs are some of the beneficiaries of the RCDF program of equipping schools with computer labs. The launching of the ICT Clubs is a part of strategic plan of RCDF to ensure sustainable use of the computer labs by making the ICT Clubs pivotal in their maintenance and operations.
UCC ICT Clubs Curriculum
UCC produced a proposed curriculum to ensure maintenance and operation of the computer lab by the club members. It covers various skills under students help desk, networking and internet basics, internet services and applications, using web authoring tools, and other recommended club activities like producing a computer club magazine, making brochures, learning to create presentation slides, blogging etcetera.UCC ICT Clubs Curriculum (272 downloads)
UCC has further developed a proposal of linking up each of the 20 ICT Clubs with one nearby University to collaborate with and support the clubs.
Through this pilot project, students are expected to gain practical skills beyond the set curriculum for secondary schools and promote innovation. It is further expected to make students gain more interest in ICT and provide opportunity and platform for outstanding students to be recognized and benefit from UCC/RCDF support.
REPORT ON 20 CLUBS LAUNCHED IN 2018
In 2018, UCC mandated KAWA to implement a pilot project activity of launching ICT Clubs in 20 selected Secondary Schools. Namely: St. Mary’s College, Rushoroza; Bishop Kivengere Girls, Kabale; Mbarara High, Mary Hill High School, Mbarara; Rwenkoba Secondary School, Ibanda; Masaka Secondary School; Kasanga Seed Secondary School, Kampala, Nabisunsa Girls, Bishops Secondary School, Mukono; Dabani Girls, Busia; Mbale High; Mbale Secondary School; Nero Rock High School, Kumi; Lira Town College; Oulu High, St. Joseph, Layibi; Arua Public, Arua Senior Secondary School, Nalinya Lwantale Girls and St. John SS, Nandale.
KAWA prepared a one-month program from 18th June to 18th July 2018 in which period each of the selected schools was visited by facilitators from KAWA and the launches were carried out. Each school was allocated at least three hours for issuing out T-Shirts, making a presentation to sensitize the club members, give them opportunity to share their expectations and accomplishments in ICT, preside over a short handover ceremony of Samsung Galaxy Tablets donated to the clubs, officially launch the project and do a video recording of feedback from some student participants. At the end of the one month program, KAWA invited the club patrons to a 1 day Knowlegde sharing meeting at Makerere University Business school as reported here.
Some of the schools already had ICT clubs or their equivalents (Mbarara High, Gulu High, Lira Town College, Bishop Kivengere Girls, Arua Public, Bishops Senior Secondary School, etc) while others did not have or are defunct (Nyero Rock High School, hilbale High). Either way ICT activities had being going on, ranging from normal ICT and Computer studies lessons to carrying out activities beyond those directly provided for in the curriculum. The major activities and accomplishments that the students shared revolved around the following:
Achievements by some ICT Clubs
Many students shared their achievements as being their ability to use the basic programs on a computer. Namely: word processing, spread sheet and presentation slides.
Students of Gulu High shared how ICT is helping the visually impaired students to have equal access and benefits of ICT.
The students of Gulu High, Bishops Secondary School and Nabisunsa Girls have a program of doing peer learning in practical between students of upper classes and those in the lower classes.
Students of Bishop Kivengere Girls, Nabisunsa Girls, Arua SS and Lira Town College shared their exploits in projects involving using apps to solve community problems. Students of Arua Secondary School have an ongoing project of an online platform addressing water and sanitation issues affecting communities.
A team of students in Lira Town College are involved in robotics and other prototypes which they have exhibited at several events, and wining for them awards.
Students of Mbarara High School and Arua Secondary School reported developing award winning projects and participating at ACIA Awards organized by UCC.
Some have come to realize that their passion is in ICT and would like to pursue it as a career
Students of Bishops Secondary School, Mukono provided a comprehensive account of their activities, achievements and challenges. According to their club chairperson, their achievements include:
- Equipping students with ICT knowledge and latest advancement.
- Conducting out-reaches to different classes
- Maintenance and cleaning of the computer laboratory
- Organizing typing competitions
- And doing website authoring.
Achievements cited by Bishops Mukono SS include:
- Increased interest in computer studies and the computer lab
- Providing of internet connectivity for students to use on certain occasions
- Acquisition of a router
- Developed a website for their school
The future plans of Bishops Secondary School, Mukono included:
- Further promotion of ICT in their school
- More active participation in ICT events in and out of the school
The challenges of the ICT Club of Bishops 55 as shared by one of the members included
- Luck of adequate funds for the various club activities.
- Delay in hosting the school’s website
- Limited ICT equipment in the lab
- Luck of access to internet
- Limited time to run the club activities.
The photo gallery below shows achievements by some of the ICT clubs
Some Statements from School Administrators and Club Patrons
Headteacher, Lira Town College, Lira – Verbatim
I would like to thank Uganda
Communications Commission for
what they have done for Lira
Town College. You are seeing
these computers here. They are
the ones who gave us the
computers. They have also
trained the rural people here
two times. Now today they have
come to you the students. They
want us to form a club here, a
club which was already existing
but they have just come to
strengthen so I am very happy
want to thank you Uganda Communications Commissions but as you may know, our population has now risen to 2300, so we are now begging for more computers. …. at least you can add for us like 40 more computers.
I want to thank the students for what they have done, those in the club who have excelled at national level. Each year we have been taking students to the national level as far as ICT is concerned. i am also happy because even one of our teachers went to Europe because of ICT. He was able to stay for a week in Europe because of ICT. I believe these students we have here will do a great work in the future.
Deputy Headteacher, Bishops Secondary School, Mukono
The deputy said that where the world has reached, one either complies or becomes obsolete. He said the students therefore have a good opportunity through the /CT Club establishment program. He pointed out that he is a disciple of ICT who has never sat in class for an /CT lesson but he has learnt how to use it_ He expressed the view that Ministry of Education and Sports could consider /CT and entrepreneurship going hand in hand. He further observed that though initial cost of ICT is high, in the long run it is very cheap. He appreciated ICT for digitalizing information which has saved the burden of paper form of keeping records and carrying out transactions. He therefore challenged the students and teachers to take the club of /CT to another level by converting their knowledge into product for sale assignment online. The deputy outlined expectations for the ICT Department: 1) let teachers move from use of chalk
to digital work in their lessons. 2) Teachers and students should begin to access homework and
3) Posting of teachers’ minutes online in advance of meetings. 4) Establishment of digital library. 5) online sharing of test and examination questions.
He also stressed the importance of developing attitude of problem solving. “Decision making and problem solving is a skill.” He said even if one was bright but is not innovative and can’t solve problems, the chances are that he or she won’t get a job.
He further urged UCC to extend the 21st century skill and knowledge training to teachers in the various subjects they teach.
The Headteacher, Arua Secondary School
Arua Secondary School is very open to activities of UCC. To UCC and KAWA, I want to say that I am really humbled by what I have seen taking place in Arua Secondary School today. It takes the hearts of loving people, loving institutions, loving organizations to organize such things for the good of the students. My dear children from Arua Public School and Arua Secondary School, what is happening now is not something small. This is not something simple. It is not something to joke with for we are empowered by the commission…. Today, in the current world, without information, without knowledge you will go nowhere, and what UCC and KAWA are doing is to empower you in terms of knowledge, in terms of technical ways of how to handle these ICT gadgets. Really KAWA and UCC need a loud and thunderous applaud.
Headteacher, Nabisunsa Girls’ School
In her closing remarks, the headteacher of Nabisunsa Girls’ School observed, “when somebody thinks about you, it means they are challenging us. I saw the last bit of the presentation where one of the sister schools is already ahead of us. They have come up with a project and we have seen the advantages of the project.” She said she believes Nabisunsa can do better. She urged her students to take it up as a challenge and put their hands together to come up with something and beat other schools that are ahead of them. She remarked that as a school they are organized and the students are very disciplined and very creative. She thanked UCC for the Samsung tablets and that she was looking forward to working with KAWA and UCC. She promised that there will definitely be something great out of the ICT Club. She also cautioned the girls to make sure that they use the tablets strictly for club activities. She said their patron would guide them very well and urged them to handle the tablets with care. She further thanked UCC for computers it earlier offered to the school.
Deputy Headteacher, Kasanga Seed Secondary School, Kampala
The deputy thanked KAWA for coming to conduct launch of the pilot project. She said they had been waiting for a long time for the day to come. She said she thought it would never come to pass since the documents for the event were signed the previous year.
She said Kasanga Seed SS is blessed being the president’s school and that because of it the president (of Uganda) donated 40 computers which many schools do not have. She said they had been conducting ICT lessons in senior five and senior six since it is compulsory at that level. But effective the beginning of 2017, the school chose to start computer studies at senior one and two. She said when the idea was sold to parents, they bought it. She said it accounted for the big number of students in 0 level. She thanked KAWA and UCC for the T shirts offered to the club members, the tablets and the time dedicated to sensitizing the students. She then launched the club. “In this error, if you are /CT illiterate, then you are in trouble” she said.
The Patron, ICT Club of St. Joseph’s College, Lavibi — Gulu
The patron thanked the facilitator, Chole Richard for his presentation_ He said he listened attentively to Choie’s presentation and he got inspired by the enormous knowledge of ICT and how the world was changing_ He said what Chole shared confirmed what they as a school had always told students.
“There is a lot that is happening in the world that no body must be left behind from knowing”, he said. He further said that there were very many aspects of ICT which must be embraced and made use of for people to advance.
We don’t need to lag behind. There is a lot that you people are going to gain through the launch of this ICT Club”, he said. He urged the students to use what they have learnt at the launch to even explore more.
“Like it or not, there is that time when teacher will use the smart phone_ Then their presentations are going to be in the form of power point. That’s why no one must be left behind.”, the patron said. “So that is where the world is heading and no one should be left behind_”, he added. He urged the few who have been selected to spearhead the club to inspire others to embrace ICT.
Patron, ICT Club of Gulu High School — Gulu.
She thanked KAWA for enlightening the club members. She said what has been learnt during the launch will make the students more innovative. She said she believed that their school may also get well known like all the other schools whose innovative accomplishments have taken them beyond the country. She paid tribute to the special needs students of Gulu High School. She said they were greatly engaged in learning projects and she believed that they can do more together. She further observed that ICT encompass everything in our life. So, they have to embrace everything
The Headteacher, Gulu High School – Gulu
The headteacher said ICT is the way to go. He thanked UCC for coming over to Gulu High School. He pledged to support UCC and maintain the ICT infrastructure. He conveyed his gratitude to the director of UCC for his innovation of the club projects_ He said he would work hand in hand with the /CT department and try to benchmark other institutions. He thanked UCC and KAWA for the support given and empowering the students
STUDENT PARTICIPANTS FEEDBACK
A few participating students were asked to freely share their learning points of the presentations during the launch in one minute. The video below captures some of the feedback
Here is a gallery for ICT clubs launched last year 2018. Click on photo to expand.
Expounding the Aims and Objectives of the Pilot Project
A great deal of time was spent on explaining the set aims and objectives of the pilot project.
The overall aim was explained as targeting the holistic development and change in a student’s interaction with ICT, attitude towards self and others. For effective use of ICT to be realized, their needs to be transformation in terms of knowledge, skills and attitude towards use and potential of ICT, value of education, valuing of human beings, attitude towards self and the surrounding and so forth. Only then does one realize the full potential of ICT and its benefits.
- Building in the students the skills of using ICT more effectively and responsibly. ICT may be misused or abused for destructive purposes. On the other hand, it can be used to develop and build humanity. The latter is the desired.
- Building communication skills and confidence in learners. The ability to communicate effectively is a cornerstone to human survival. As information technology grows and develops the world becomes more accessible, drawing people of different races and languages into one global village. With it is an increasing dependency on information technology to communicate effectively. It therefore implies that the student of today must be prepared to communicate more effectively using ICT and master how to communicate with people of different cultures, races and languages. Confidence in one’s self is also very important to communicate effectively.
- Enabling creativity and innovation. Creativity and innovation are the cornerstone for a sustainable development of a nation. Young people are dynamic and energetic. By embracing ICT, they have opportunity to accelerate their ability to create and innovate.
- Developing critical thinking and problem-solving mentality. Before you can be a problem solver, you need to be a critical thinker. Entire communities are sometimes derailed because the people in it fail to critically analyze and identify the basis of their problems. The ICT learner therefore needs to be engaged in learning activities that challenge their thinking and come up with solutions to problems with aid of ICT as an invaluable enabler for critical thinking and problem solving.
- Being able to integrate ICT in mainstream disciplines, other clubs and schools’ activities for learning purposes. ICT is not an end in itself. It is not used in isolation but as a tool and enabler in every aspect of human life. Therefore, the ICT clubs will be relevant only in as far as they support other programs and activities in the school. It may be supporting other clubs to embrace ICT in implementing their programs, guiding students in realizing the usefulness of lCT in their respective subjects, supporting school administration in a major event and so forth. The ICT clubs have to therefore strategically think of how they can integrate ICT in learning disciplines, clubs and schools’ programs and activities.
- Engaging learners in programs and activities that develop a sense of global citizenship. It is increasingly becoming impossible to ignore what happens in the other end of the world because its effect may sooner or later be felt the other side of the globe. It therefore means that young people of today need to take global concern over issues. ICT provides an opportunity for learners to realize their potential to be global agents of impact or change. They essentially are at their best as global citizens,
- Being able to purposefully network, collaborate and work as a team. In on increasingly interconnected world, the value of networking and collaborations have never been so acute. We need each other more than ever. It therefore means that the mentality and ability to work with each other need to be inculcated in the young people. ICT makes it very possible to collaborate and network. The ICT club members therefore need to get engaged in programs that propagate networking, collaboration and teamwork, locally and internationally.
- Becoming peer learners that guide and support fellow students in learning and effective use of ICT in education. Sharing of knowledge and skills has a distinct benefit of helping the sharer to reinforce his or her own learning. The ICT Clubs were therefore encouraged to develop learning activities that involve sharing learning experiences with others. It may be with students in the same school, another school or else where in their community — face to face or online.
- Empowering learners to address real issues affecting their communities and finding solutions to them through innovative learning projects. This is another key element of the project. Each ICT club has been encouraged to come up with at least one innovative learning activity that address real issues affecting people in their communities. Such activities do not have to be grand but within means of the students to implement. They should therefore develop keen senses to find out issues affecting their communities and plan to address at least one of them and determine how ICT can enable it.
- Developing a sense of ownership of and taking part in maintenance of equipment of their respective ICT department. We explained to the students and teachers present that one of the key interests of UCC is to see the active participation of students in maintenance of labs and their equipment. They were reminded that lab maintenance is integral part of the ICT curriculum and it has to be not just minds-on but hands-on as well. They were encouraged to own the labs and be their first protectors.
21′ Century Challenges and Opportunities.
The ICT Club participants were further provided with an exposition of major challenges and opportunities for which they need to develop in them the necessary capacity to deal with if they are to maximize the effective use of ICT:
The world is rapidly going hi-tech in almost every aspect of life. It is also increasingly possible to access almost any part of the world either physically or virtually. The level of trade and social interaction in the world has grown exponentially. There is also growing forces for freedom by all categories of societies and minorities. As the world becomes more of a global village cultural clash and amalgamation is the rising phenomena.
All these above and others pose as challenges and opportunities that the 21st century student must deal with if he or she is to use ICT to its full advantage. It calls for ability to change and adopt to new ways in order to fit, survive, have desired impact today and ultimately remain relevant.
The participants were further given an exposition of skills that may not be the mainstream subject of any learning yet they remain very crucial — soft skills. So, as the learners embrace ICT, they need to be aware of and develop the soft skills in their lives to be able to relate in a healthy way with other people.
Examples of soft skills share included: strong work ethics, positive attitude, good communication skills, time management skills, self-confidence, and so forth.
To emphasis the importance of soft skills in todays fast changing world, employability requirements of two organizations were shared: RTI International and One Acre Fund all found in Uganda. Among other requirements the organizations require a candidate for a high paying job with them to have:
- High level of emotional intelligence, and ability to work and collaborate effectively within teams.
- Humility and Personal stability.
- passionate professionals who combine strong leadership skills with good humor, patience, and a humble approach to service
- Excellent knowledge of MS Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel
- Ability to multi-task
- Ability to work well with others
- Ability to listen and communicate well both verbal and written with provable conflict management skills
- Ability to work independently, within and outside of normal hours sometimes
Avenues for Innovation and Global Impact
There are several organizations that provide platforms that support and give presence to students engaged in innovative projects. A few of these were shared with the ICT Club members and their teachers present:
Technovation for Girls. (https://technovationchallenge.org) This is an international program to which girls are invited to compete in problem solving project through creation of apps. Lira Town College and Gayaza High School are some of the schools which have participated in this before.
international Education Resource Network — iEARN (https://iearn.org).This is an Internet based nonprofit organization that brings together teachers and students from all over the world to collaborate in learning projects. Its programs are currently spread in over 140 countries with 50,000 teachers and 2,000,000 youths involved worldwide. An iEARN project by students of PMM Girls School in Jinja, Envision My Ideal World was shared as an example of what students can accomplish for themselves.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The club members were also introduced to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The members were encouraged to study the SDGs and align their club activities and objectives with it.
Tips for Forming and Successfully Running an ICT Club
- Share your idea with other students interested in ICT and create a steering committee.
- Market your idea to an interested and supportive teacher.
- Document clearly the aims and objective and planed activities of the club.
- Share your club idea with school administration to seek approval.
- Develop a work plan/action plan of at least one year and make it available to all members.
- Convince other students to join.
- Dissolve the steering committee and elect officials to run the club.
- Keep club records: minutes, reports, photos, etc.
- Be relevant to your school, community, country and the world. Align your program to the SDGs.
- Have activities running at any one time
- Let all members remain active
- Keep good record of what you do in the club
- Work as a team; be supportive and have respect towards each other.
- Have regular meetings
- Have clear agenda for your meetings
- Be good role models in your ICT Department, school and community.
- Have clear ground rules; aims and objective; must be well understood by all members; stick to club rules
- Strive to excel in ICT and Computer Studies
Possible Club Activities
- Participate in ICT lab and equipment maintenance
- Hold regular study discussions in ICT and Computer studies
- Regularly share your activities with the school at assembly, school notice board, etc.
- Identify resourceful websites for studies in all subjects make it available to other students
- Create a website, blog or word press on which to share club activities
- Initiate and participate in problem-solving project(s)
- Use obsolete computers and accessories by turning them into device identification platform.
- Create a website, blog or a word press for a specific objective
- Do pictorial display of school activities on school notice board, website, etc o Have an online conferencing with students, teachers or other resourceful persons.
- Invite a resource person to talk to and inspire students on value of lCT for their career, etc.
- Design certificates for clubs etc
- Design brochures and pamphlets for your school.
- Support other clubs with use of ICT to meet their objectives.
- Record school events on video
Project Ideas for Clubs
- Creating digital instructional material for learning
- Creating a blog, word press or website to share your learning outcomes in geography, history, etc.
- Creating a youtube channel for the club
- Producing skit videos for learning purposes.
- Creating an anthology in literature mm poetry, short stories, fables etc
- Creating of apps for solving real life problems
- Present a well-researched community issue to your Member of Parliament
- Labeling flora in the school with their common and scientific names.
- Compile a well-researched study of history of the local community you live in
- Make a geographical study of your locality
Facilitators from KAWA have been invited to share these and more tips during the forthcoming National ICT Teachers Capacity Development Workshop taking place at Kololo SS on 6th and 7th May 2019. Teachers of ICT and Computer Studies in Uganda will converge for 2 days where several sessions will be held as detailed in the invitation letter and tentative program below.
If you are interested in this workshop, click here to register for the event. Lets take the Usage of ICTs in schools in Uganda to another level.