The Minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataaha Museveni has said that the ministry has recruited and trained Information and Communication technologies teachers to help improve digital literacy in schools across the country.
Speaking during the 3rd Teachers’ Forum facilitated by the British Council in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU), Vodafone Uganda and ICDL, the First Lady said, “Digital literacy is not just about having ICT in schools, but also sharing knowledge, analyzing, assessing, integrating and creating new knowledge and effectively communicating, that is why the Ministry of Education is training and recruiting teachers.”
The forum held under the theme “Digital Literacy: The Effective Use of ICT in Enhancing the Quality of Education.” is aimed at bringing together teachers and other stake-holders to share thoughts and ideas about opportunities, trends and challenges in the Ugandan education sector today.
“If Uganda is to promote inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning, we have to focus on digital literacy,” noted the minister. “It is our duty as the Ministry of Education to ensure that children in the whole country especially the rural areas have access to these same ICT facilities so that all our children in the country can be at the same level.”
Majority of schools in both the rural and urban areas have no access to digital learning tools which creates a big divide in digital literacy.
The Vodafone Uganda CEO, John Ndego noted that the 4G Next Generation data network will continue to use mobile technology to ensure easy access to education content and offer a positive and interactive learning environment.
“We will be contributing effectively to the students to create tomorrow and shaping their future. Having access to technology gives students power to endless possibilities, power to be who they want to be, connect with their peers across the globe. This is our mission, to empower the future generation of our country.
Majority of the teachers cited issues like, lack of classrooms to keep the computers, lack of qualified teachers to teach ICT in schools, adequate recourses to acquire ICT tools as well as lack of uniformity in ICT curriculum as the biggest challenges facing advancement of ICT in schools.
Ssensamba Gonza, the Vice Chairperson UNATU said that the stakeholders in the education sector need to come together to improve the quality of education through provision of ICT.
Karen McCormack the acting Country Director, British Council noted that developing digital literacy should be a key area of concern and development for schools, colleges, universities, teachers and students themselves.