Enabel-Uganda, a Belgian development agency has recognised the best teachers from Technical and vocational training institutes who embraced digital technology to reach out to their students during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Last year in March, Uganda like other countries was hit by the global pandemic of coronavirus and as a way of curbing it from spreading, President Yoweri Museveni ordered closure of public places like schools and places of worship among others. Schools have remained closed up to date.
In order to ensure that students who went home don’t lose it all, Enabel introduced a digital technology tool kit that provided platforms teachers used to reach out to their students while at home. Such tools included; Teacher-Training Education Sandbox (TTE sandbox). Another digital tool kit that was designed by Enabel is Hakuna Matata which was for the medical facilities to help medical officers reach their patients while at home.
As part of the Kampala Innovation Week, teachers from over 50 private and public institutions across the country participated in showcasing how they carry out their lessons online.
Im the same competition, medical officers pitched on how they carry out their medical services online as well as offering treatments or advise to their patients using online platforms.
While speaking to journalists on Friday during the crowning ceremony of the 3rd edition of Kampala Innovation Week at Design Hub Industrial Area, Bart Cornille the Digital Development from Enabel said the competition entirely depended on many aspects that teachers depend on while teaching their students physically.
“We mostly depended on how they designed their lessons to ensure the continuity of learning despite the lockdown. The second group was Hakuna Matata designed to solve the daily problems in health sector using online. So the jury sat and selected the best participants as part of the concluding ceremony of the Kampala innovation week, three teachers imagined as winners,”Cornille said.
In the first category, the jury depended on the art of pitching which entailed fluency of the language, degree of passion. They also depended on the content, this entailed the objectives of the lesson and its availability on the national school curriculum.
In the first group of education, out of 50 participants, only three emmerged as winners while the second had only 10 participants, of whom 6 were Ugandans, 3 Kenyans and 1 from America however only one emerged as the winner and that is Dr. Omara a Ugandan.
In the first group, the winner was Atwirinda Aiden from St. Joseph Technical institute Vidika from Fort Portal district, second runners up was Olwalo Andrew from St. Daniel Comboni Polytechnic from Moroto district Karamoja region and Katusiime Sylvia from Millennium Business School Hoima.
“I used to zoom, google forms, PowerPoint and YouTube, these tools can be embedded in one and students are be able to access the lessons at any time they like. I managed to win and I thank Enable for the opportunity. With this technology from Enable, we are improving, however, there is still a need to support some unprivileged students to access lessons. At first distance learning was worrying but it’s improving, students and teachers are getting used slowly. As of now on average 70per cent of my class attend classes, yet this technology had just been introduced few students embraced at first,” Mr. Atwirinda told Watchdog Uganda.
Ms. Katusiime an instructor of cosmetology at Millennium Business School also added that there is a greater need for governmentt intervention to help learners since some students come from poor families where no one owns a smartphone. “I teach a practical course much of my work is uploaded on Youtube and I make sure that I don’t upload heavy videos for easy downloading and watching of my learners but still you find that some learners can not afford even to watch a three minutes video clip, so there is still much need of government intervention. However, there is a greater improvement if we compare where we started from when Enable had just introduced this technology.”
Meanwhile, the best winner in the first group received a brand new Laptop, the second runners-up received a tablet and the third one and fourth received cash envelopes. All winners will be given extra pieces of training for their e-learning lessons.
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