By Andrew Masinde and Francis Emorut
All public secondary schools are to be equipped with computers come June this year, Minister of Education, Jessica Alupo has said.
She was addressing secondary school head teachers from both private and public schools across the country at their Annual General Meeting for the Association of Secondary School Head teachers of Uganda (ASSHU) at UMA conference Hall in Kampala on Thursday.
The two day conference aimed at equipping teachers with skills on how to effectively manage the school administration drew over 700 head teachers.
Alupo said: “All public secondary schools will be having computers and so far 957schools have got it and we are now remaining with 97schools to finalise this process.”
“We want all schools to be fully equipped with ICT because the world today without computers you are doomed, so after completing the distribution, ICT will be compulsory for all A-Level students,” she stated.
The head teachers welcomed the move saying it will facilitate the learning of students.
Patrick Oketch the head teacher of Lango College in Lira said that the computers are important for the school however, he pointed out that the computers are too few and yet the number of students is too many. He requested government to increase on the Numbers.
Paul Serunjogi the head teacher of Masaka Secondary School said computers they received will enable students to cope up with global modern technology.
He also appealed to the ministry to have the computers sold at subsidised price for private schools.
Francis Okech of Kaberemaido stressed the need to have electricity in schools that don’t have otherwise students in rural areas would be disadvantaged. “We received solar powered computers but we request that government extends power,” Okech said.
Fredrick Madale of Iganga said computers will help students acquire skills in information communication technology.
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) director for competition and consumer affairs Fred Otunnu said the process has been on going on and the organisation is happy that the process is coming to an end.
He explained that the process was in two phases the first being public universities.
Government’s six universities received 80 computers each while private universities received 40 computers each.
He said the second phase is for public secondary schools where those with electricity received 40 computers while though without electricity received computers powered with solar.
“The whole process cost $460,000 (sh1, 150,000,000b) and it is a turnkey process, each school that received computers, were asked to select teachers of their choice and they were retooled in computer skills and I know they are going to do a great job.
The teachers are trained at the centre of science and mathematics at Kololo high school and it is supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), through the ministry of education. So far 150 teachers have completed the course and we are soon enrolling others,” Otunnu said.
The chairperson ASSHU Nakate Kikomeko, said this is a great opportunity for schools to go technological so as schools they should take it as a great opportunity.
“It is good all head teachers are here, when we go back to our schools we should make sure that we take computer serious, it will be embarrassing when students challenge teachers in computers.
Remember some children come from schools were technology is every were, so as head teachers, you have to support these teachers to do their work because computer is very important, she also asked the head teachers to use the computers for the purpose they are supposed to serves,” she said.