COVID-19 Forced Ugandan Teachers to Go Digital, Teaching Them Important Lessons — Global Issues

A student teacher at Kabale National Pedagogical University watches a lecture through his smartphone. Image provider: Michael Wambi / IPS.
  • by Wambi Michael (kampala / kabale)
  • Associated Press Service

Frederick Kiyingi said phones and information and communication technology (ICT) tools distract learners and will affect their learning and concentration.

But William Musaazi, a teacher who recognized the importance of using ICT in teaching, tried to argue the opposite. “With this smartphone, I can explore the world around me at the touch of a button… And at the same time, it makes my lessons interesting, like a very interesting movie. taste,” he told IPS recently.

In the end, Musaazi decided not to let the important tools into the classroom for fear it would conflict with the instructions.

Then in March 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, announced a total lockdown, bringing schooling to a halt. Schools and universities remained closed for two years, leaving 15 million students out of school.

Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports (MoE) offered to provide lessons through radio and television but that didn’t work. Switch set Enabel, Belgian development agency. It has developed and implemented a distance learning strategy known as the TTE Sandbox to ensure that learning is continued by training educators at five national teacher colleges (NTCs).

Teach to use sandbox

The teachers in the training had to implement a groundbreaking program on how to use technology to teach instead of traditional methods. They have been taught how to use digital tools such as screencasting, podcasting, video conferencing, and e-books or booklets.

Ironically, Enabel suggested using technology in teaching at NTCs in 2019 but veteran instructors were reluctant, Virginie Hallet, a portfolio manager at the institution, recalls.

“They say ‘we were born before computers, we don’t know anything about computers. Why do you want us to use ICTS in delivering lectures’? ” she told IPS.

Andrew Tabura, lead education officer in charge of post-secondary and high school education at MoE, told IPS that while colleges have been provided with ICT tools, faculty are still afraid of the job. turmeric. After being trained, they can now use ICT. “When the COVID-19 situation hits, they are forced to think, ‘Okay, we have these facilities but how can we use them to reach out to learners?

According to Hallet, 62% of homeschoolers in different parts of Uganda can follow classes via TTE Sandbox. “It means education can continue… So really, for us, the sandbox is like a mental shift from protest to outright buying,” she said. “For us, this is a huge success.”

At Kabale National Teachers College, 400 kilometers south of Kampala, IPS found that faculty members were still using TTE Sandbox and other online tools to teach teachers before serving nearly a year after serving. Colleges are reopened.

Guide teachers to use IT

Just early morning. IPS was granted access to one of the lectures at NTC Kabale. The punitive cold from the Rwenzori Mountains flooded the room but the warm-hearted learners seemed unaffected as Molly Nakimera lectured. The room has an overhead projector and a set of radio speakers. Some cables associated with the laptop are visible. Nakimera showed a role-playing video about educational management, then invited the class to contribute ideas.

Later, Nakimera told IPS that it would previously take more than three weeks to complete such a unit of course, but using ICT such as videos and podcasts means less time consuming and better results.

“I teach a very large class. However, I have failed to find a method that can help me work with large numbers. I used to scream a lot as a teacher. Sometimes I can feel like I’m stretching myself. And sometimes I just can’t finish the syllabus the way I’m doing with the sandbox,” she said.

Nakimera adds that before she knew how to type in Word, she knew nothing about podcasting and producing teaching videos. For her, a smartphone is for making calls and checking email, but she has realized that it is actually a small computer and also an important teaching and learning tool. “These are new things that make me feel more excited, make my work easier, make me feel like I should be more serious,” the teacher added.

Physics and mathematics lecturer Mujungu Herbert told IPS that before the pandemic, every lecturer used what he describes as traditional teaching methods, which included ‘chalk and talk’ lectures and sometimes laboratory equipment or materials from the environment. “With TTE Sandbox, I noticed that learners are more active during the lessons. Teaching is learner-centered rather than teacher-centered,” he explains.

When asked why he did not have access to ICTs in the past, Herbert said that he and other lecturers did not see the rationale for using them and that the on-site pedagogy did not include ICT teaching. or how to apply it to online learning or teaching.

Only option during lockdown

“I only use the calculator when preparing or taking a test. I hadn’t heard of Zoom before the pandemic. But while we were in lockdown, we realized that learners were moving away from us. The only way to access them is by using ICT tools,” added Herbert.

With such tools, instructors can register learners for virtual attendance, run quizzes, and assign tasks such as assignments. Classes are interactive. Herbert has noted that some students who lack Internet access will miss classes, while those who do not invest in a smartphone or tablet will find it difficult to access online resources.

France Ruhuma, a biology and chemistry student at NTC Kabale, was among the students introduced to the TTE Sandbox and has continued to use it after schools reopened.

“Now, most of my lifestyle has been changed online. I don’t have to carry many books. I just go to the sandbox, click on the links and access the interactive videos,” Ruhuma told IPS. He adds that videos with illustrations and diagrams are much better to learn than the old teacher and blackboard illustration method.

While talking to IPS, Ruhuma had just returned from a teaching internship at a school near Kabale. He said he realized that veteran teachers have not yet adopted IT while not all learners can use mobile phones. “So, as a teacher coming up, I left university armed with ICT skills. But the challenge is that in most of these schools, teachers are not computer literate and the school environment is not prepared for ICT in teaching,” he said.

MoE official Tabura told IPS that the Department is developing a policy and guidelines for integrating ICTs into education. “It will provide guidance to schools on how to use ICT facilities out of fear that teachers or learners will misuse ICT facilities,” he said.

According to Tabura, TTE Sandbox is a small improvement developed to reach learners during the course, but it has opened many doors for instructors. “I know it needs the Internet, for example. And that can be a challenge. But if you have the Internet, this is something that can be replicated worldwide,” he said.

© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service

Source link


News7F: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button