Gayaza DS VL

A Gayaza student interacts with the Digital Science Software

Gayaza High School, a girls’ institution with a long history of excellence last week, showcased their e-Learning centre that will integrate classroom study with technology.Ronald Ddungu, the Deputy Head Teacher said they have adopted an inclusive approach to e-Learning where teachers have actively integrated technology into teaching.

Students can now access class notes, homework and carry out research in a timely manner to further compliment the education curriculum in Uganda.

Ddungu said the e-Learning initiative has already enabled Gayaza High School to win $15,000 for having one of the most innovative worldwide ideas during this year’s Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain in March.

“The use of technology in schools in Uganda will help improve the delivery of the curriculum. Gayaza High School will work closely with other schools and mentor their teachers in adopting the use of technology in their work,” Ddungu said.

During a recent tour of the school, Mark East, General Manager of Global Sales and Operations at Microsoft, said: “The government of Uganda needs to set a policy and infrastructure for schools to access internet and technology because Information Technology is a tool that each student needs to have a right to.’

He said, “Teachers, like those in Gayaza, need to learn how to effectively integrate ICT into their curriculum and classrooms. It helps create immersive learning experiences that improve students’ experiences and skills through technology.”

He said Microsoft’s approach to e-Learning is a not a one-device-fits-all solution. With access to ICT in schools still unevenly distributed, schools across Uganda are at different levels of implementing e-Learning programs and therefore have different needs. “For instance, there is a high teacher absenteeism rate in Uganda, as reported by the BBC, meaning that 40% of public school classrooms don’t have teachers teaching in them,” he said.

Gayaza High School has since 2007 been a centre of Excellece for the Cyber School Technology Solutions Digital Science and Virtual Lab software. The school’s administration has vowed to continually be supportive of eLearning activities, which is highly commendable in a generation where ICTs are growing and changing the world as we know it.

Credit: East African Business Week