The ICT Teachers’ Association of Uganda (ITAU) is a gathering of teachers of ICT in Uganda across all levels of education. With the initial idea started in 2017 by a group of visionary ICT teachers, the association whose patron is Hajji. Bbuye Abubaker, has grown into a strong body with a membership of over 1000 as of December 2019.
This year, 2020, the executive is banking on the lessons of 2019 and intends to double membership by the end of the year.
However, it is common to bump into a teacher of ICT who has never heard about ITAU. Also, majority of the teachers are secondary school teachers leaving a big number of primary school and tertiary level instructors out.
As the saying goes, “Iron sharpens iron”, it is imperative that as teachers of ICT, we need to come together. This article explains the benefits of membership to the ICT Teachers’ Association.
Capacity Development Workshops (CDWs)
The ICT Teachers’ Association has prepared several Capacity Development Workshops in which various topics have been presented. In May 2019, the association started the year with a 2 day National capacity development Workshop at Kololo SS where Hon. Nyombi Tembo was chief guest.
This was followed by regional Capacity Development Workshops in the Eastern, Western, Northern and Central regions of Uganda. The Western region CDW was hosted by Kyebambe Girls while Dr. Obote College hosted the one for Northern region. Busoga College Mwiri hosted the Eastern region CDW while the climax was at King’s College Budo which hosted the Central Region.
Read also: Workshops to attend in 2020
The year 2020 will be busier as more CDWs have been lined up even up to sub regional level.
Access to Teaching Resources
It is a fact that every teacher has a unique approach to teaching. As professional teachers, we are also advised to use a variety of references when preparing lessons. The gap in experience is also wide with many members having only a year or so of experience.
The availability of resources among members is a good pool of resources which teachers can benefit from in order to enrich their lessons. The association has notable authors as members like Mr. Atwine Solomon, Mr. Tuhame Moses, Mr. Rogers Mukalele and Mr. Kichui Shadrack.
Access to Exams and Tests
Just like notes, a teacher’s other role is to expose his/her students to a variety of assessment. It therefore becomes imperative for the teacher to look out for tests and exams from colleagues in the same field of ICT.
From a pool of 1000 teachers, you can never run short of exams for your students to try. This also gives you an insight on how fellow teachers are assessing their students.
One of ITAU’s founder members Mr. Rogers Mukalele is the owner of Sharebility, a dedicated website where teaching resources and exams are shared from different schools, teachers and examination bodies.
Opportunities to Diversify Your Income
Teachers of ICT also get exposed to professional opportunities in the field of IT. For example, the ICT Teachers Association has introduced members to the WordPress community in Uganda. This has helped teachers diversify their sources of income.
Personally, I attended my first WordCamp in 2018 at the invitation of Rogers Mukalele (ITAU National Coordinator). Today, due to inspiration from that 2 day event, I am a proud co-director of E-zone Web Services, a web design and hosting business entirely owned and run by ICT teachers.
Exposure to Job Opportunities
Members of the ICT Teachers’ Association are exposed to several job opportunities that are shared on the social media pages and association website. This has helped colleagues in the profession get job opportunities.
School administrators who are also members of ITAU are exposed to a pool of teachers from which they can scout for staff. The conversations in the social media plaforms give employers a hint on what kind of staff suits their environment helping them make informed decisions.
ITAU has a clear leadership structure from National up to regional level. With a 2 year term for the executive, members of ITAU are given a chance to show their leadership qualities. Elections are held at every second AGM to fill the posts at National and regional committees.
This experience is a stepping stone for future leadership opportunities at their places of work or even at national political level.
Membership to the SACCO
The ICT Teachers Association of Uganda runs a SACCO whose major purpose is to provide financial liberation to members. The ICT Teachers’ SACCO seeks to extend financial services to the fraternity with friendly terms which in turn helps in both professional and material development.
Motivation from Others
Whereas it is evident that all of us are teachers of ICT, some members have taken it further by diversifying their sources of income. Such members are a great inspiration to others in the field. Members get encouraged to try out other avenues within the profession or related to the profession.
For example, Mr. Mwondha is a great inspiration for those who may wish to take on facilitation as an extra source of income. Mr. Mwondha David, a teacher of King’s College Budo is a much sought after facilitator who has featured at ITAU CDWs. He is an examiner not only in Uganda but the East African Region.
Building Your Career
Every teacher of ICT was once a newbie. The knowledge you have as a teacher is gained through various avenues including student years, at work and through membership to fraternities like ITAU.
It has been said before that iron sharpens iron. The journey we go through to grow as teachers of ICT can be smoother if we share with others in the profession. It is even imperative to associate with those of the same mind if we are to build our careers.
Help With Computer Laboratories
Among the members of the ICT Teachers’ Association of Uganda are some who have gained expertise in the management of computer labs. This helps teachers deal with technical problems in their computer labs thereby reducing on their schools’ maintenance budget.
Read also: Hardware every computer lab should have.
Last year’s CDWs had a topic on maintenance of computer labs where teachers were taught basic lab procedures and solving common problems.
Answers From Experienced Teachers
Sometimes, teachers get a biting issue whose answers may not readily be available in available books. A question paused on the ITAU platforms can easily be answered by another teacher almost instantly.
Sometimes, some questions cause a debate and by the end of the day, a professional answer is got.
Practicing Your Writing Skills
The ICT Teachers Association runs its website where content is created by registered members. Teachers with the love for writing are given an open opportunity to hone their writing skills by posting articles to the platform.
This in turn brings in more opportunities within and outside the association. For example, I started writing on this platform in May 2019. With reviews and encouragement from readers, I was able to get opportunities to write for SML News Uganda, an online news agency and Muzungu Blog Uganda, a tourism blog promoting Uganda to the outside world.
Promoting Personal Business
The ICT Teachers’ Association of Uganda is a perfect avenue for teachers to promote their skills and businesses. One such example is Mr. Mukisa, who doubles as a photographer.
Mr. Mukisa was very helpful in the photography of the regional CDWs at Kyebambe Girls, Busoga College Mwiri and King’s College Budo.
Emma da Computer guy is another member of ITAU who promotes his School Management System on the association’s platforms.
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