Uganda: teachers get ‘teched out’ to improve teaching and learning
Teachers in Northern Uganda are set to use information and communication technologies to improve the way they teach and their students learn, following a donation of equipment they received from Education International and Oxfam Novib.
The information and communication technologies (ICT) equipment was donated to the Quality Educators for All project in Uganda this week. The ICT equipment, provided by Education International (EI) and the Netherlands’ Oxfam-Novib, which consists of cameras, laptops, projectors and screens, will be used to facilitate teacher professional development and teaching in Northern Uganda.
Teachers are expected to record, review and critique each other’s lessons in order to improve the way they teach, and to document and share good practice with other educators in and beyond the region. They will also use the computers and projectors as teaching and learning tools in the classroom. This collaborative peer learning and support programme is likely to help teachers improve professional practice and education quality in and beyond the project schools.
Speaking at the handover event, EI’s Dennis Sinyolo and Quality Educators global project leader, reminded the Ugandan and other governments about the commitments they have made to invest in education and teachers through the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, Goal 4 on Quality Education.
“As reflected in the Incheon Agreement, governments and the international community committed to ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed education systems”, said Sinyolo.
Sinyolo reaffirmed EI’s position that empowering and supporting teachers means giving them the necessary training and professional development opportunities to acquire competences - knowledge, skills, attitudes and values – to teach effectively and help learners to achieve their fullest potential; it entails trusting teachers and giving them professional autonomy and space to make decisions related to their work; to reflect on their performance, experiment, create and innovate.
“We should harness the transformative power of digital technology in order to improve teaching and learning in our schools”, he said. He went on to observe that Africa is one of the continents with the highest number of mobile phones, yet the use of mobile technology to support students and teachers has not yet been fully explored.
Margaret Rwabushaija, National Chairperson of EI affiliate, Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) thanked EI and Oxfam Novib for the donation. She was confident that the equipment would help support the professional development of teachers and improve learning outcomes in Uganda. The Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports also welcomed the use of ICTs to train teachers, and promised to support principals and teachers put the equipment to good use.
The Quality Educators for All project is a joint initiative of EI and Oxfam Novib designed to help governments meet their obligation to provide quality education by improving teacher quality and teaching. The project, which has been implemented in both Uganda and Mali, was awarded the UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers in 2014.