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Rural school students hooked to Web-World PDF Print E-mail

By Kereson Katongole

In 2003, a modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre was established in Mubende, the first one ever, that was to not only confirm visibility of a computer to many but also improve students’ performance in school.

It all started when Mr. Elijah Kyamuwendo the chief executive officer, Kulika Charitable Trust Uganda, linked the school to Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI).

Later on with funding from International Institute for Communication and Development of Netherlands (IICD) a modern ICT centre was formed.

Since the ICT centre was established, life in Mubende and particularly at Mubende Light Secondary School has never been the same.

“The immediate and most important impact to us, though underrated by others, was the fact that students, staff and the community who had only heard but never seen a computer, were able to see it, touch it and can now differenciate it from other equipment like televisions,” said the Mubende ICT centre focal person.

This has had a powerful impact: it has aroused students’ enthusiasm to study and interact with the computer and attracted more students to the school, which is now deemed as a path to achieving IT knowledge.

School records show that the number of students enrolled has steadily increased from 250 students before establishment of the ICT center, to 700 students, partly attributed to computer studies as a subject on its curriculum.

Even if the ministry of Education and Sports approved the curriculum for ICT training, very few schools, particularly rural based schools have facilitates to offer computer studies. Mubende Light S.S became the first to ever offer it in Mubende District.

Statistics from the ICT centre show that a total of 2,342 students and 321 community members have been equipped with basic computer skills and their training is still on going. The results so far are amazing.

For instance in 2006, the school registered 9 students for the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) computer exams and they all passed with distinctions and good credits. 15 candidates were registered in 2007 and they too performed well.

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Last year, 9 out of the 19 students who undertook the exams had very good credits. The school hopes to register 30 students.   Athough the numbers could be more, this year the ICT centre is limited by lack of a spacious computer laboratory.

So far all the school staff -teaching and non teaching- are trained in computer usage and refresher courses for staff are organized every term. As a result, most of the school records are digitized.

Each staff member can now input and output information about- students marks, registers, class lists, financial reports and teachers’ as well as students’ bio data, which has eased work, saves time and improved accountability.

The school has also moved on to digital libraries installed on computers, which has supplemented the traditional ones.

“The teaching and learning process is easier and more interesting because it involves student teacher practical interaction during the instruction processes,” said one of the students. The teaching of science through the Cyber School Technology Solution (CSTS) programme, where the school is a registered member, has also been made easy.

Programs on career guidance, children’s rights, encyclopedias and community development content are stored either on computers or DVDs and they are positively impacting on the community.

The school has linked up with international schools like the Ivy Bridge Community College in England and has partnered with UIRI, IICD, I-Network and UCC.

Its success has also benefited other schools that have followed suit: Kasenyi Secondary School, Mubende Army SS and Mubende national teacher’s college all have ICT centres.

Mubende Light S. S is in Mubende district, 156 km from Kampala on the Kampala Fort portal highway. It is a mixed day and boarding government aided ‘O’ and ‘A’ secondary school. At last the school has a website www.mubendelss.school.ug.




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