Like other resource-limited countries, Uganda faces educational barriers with sparse access to computers, projectors, and even electricity in their schools. However, one organization is committed to supporting Uganda’s teachers and administrators to overcome such challenges by providing technology and training in these communities.
SchoolNet Uganda, a program started in 1997 and supported by the World Links for Development Programme, recognizes the importance of empowering educators and schools to utilize available technological resources despite limitations. They provide affordable computers and support the introduction of Information Communication Technology (ICT) into schools along with offering professional development training sessions on how to use the ICT resources effectively. The interactive TeachAIDS software fits perfectly into this mission of incorporating ICT education into the curriculum.
In order to effectively impart this information, SchoolNet Uganda hosted a workshop for principals and secondary school teachers covering issues around sex education, including AIDS education. They held a screening of the TeachAIDS materials and provided each principal with a copy of the CD-ROM to take back to their respective schools. According to SchoolNet Uganda’s Training Director, Daniel Kakinda, many of principals and educators shared their thoughts on how TeachAIDS could be relevant to their schools.
Bugobi High School Principal Opio Gresom said, “The ideas connected to HIV and AIDS; how it is acquired up to how it can be avoided have been brought out in a way that is motivating to anyone to listen to and keeps the person expecting to see the next step. … It is quite a good piece for school teaching of the facts of life and especially to the youth who easily get tired when something goes on talking for a long time.”
Principals appreciated the TeachAIDS’ multimedia as “comprehensive,” “catchy,” and “youth-friendly.” They considered the animations culturally appropriate, bringing the message closer to the African community. Head teacher John Balanga from the Nabukala Secondary School in Bugiri noted that the TeachAIDS material was “very good, especially when handling such technical areas / topics on HIV/AIDS.” Musasizi Micheal from St. Peter’s College in Buweera noted that the “tutorials are so youth-friendly; they attract maximum audience from the young people.”
In addition, SchoolNet Uganda provides sex education to secondary schools and runs an online support center, where students can get more information and post questions about issues related to sexual health and HIV and AIDS. Even when only one computer is available, teachers and school administrators can share the TeachAIDS message with students. SchoolNet Uganda’s Training Director, Daniel Kakinda, has also held training sessions for student peer educators, finding the TeachAIDS materials useful when he works with youth.
TeachAIDS is pleased to support efforts to integrate information technology into the classroom, and empower students with information to prevent HIV and AIDS.
Photo: SchoolNet Uganda screens the TeachAIDS animation for students in Uganda.