Teachers Trained on ICT Toolkit for Learning Continuity during Covid-19

UNESCO through CapED project supported Ministry of Education and Sports of Uganda to build capacity of 18 teacher educators in using ICT in teaching during school lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemics. The Government of Uganda’s first move to lockdown educational institutions in the country was in March 2020 even before the first case of Covid-19 was recorded. This was later followed by sporadic reopening of some classes in a phased manner until 6 June 2021, when the country went into another total lockdown after recording a setback with the second wave of Covid-19 cases. Seventy-seven (77) weeks after the first lockdown, some educational institutions still remain closed, making it one of the longest COVID-19 related closures recorded anywhere in the world. As a result, many learners have not been able to access education due to a number of gaps in what would help them to learn even in the midst of the pandemic. These include lack of toolkits to facilitate learning, limited skills teachers and parents to help them learn or socialize at school.

The COVID 19 pandemic ushered in a new form of life, including alternative approach to learning using digital platforms to ensure continuity of learning. In line with the above, the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) with support from UNESCOCapacity Building in Education (CapED), and ICESCO supported continuity of learning through the establishment of Teacher Education E-Learning (TEELS) in Educational Institutions that were fully equipped with ICT toolkits to address the issue of continuity of education and distance learning during COVID-19 era. These kits have been placed at the centers that work as hubs for other sister institutions. The centers are Shimoni Core PTCs, National Instructors’ College Abilonino (NICA), Ntare Secondary School, National Teachers College, Muni, and Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) for private and Universities and Communication Information Management Unit (CIMU) of the Ministry of Education and Sports.

For effective utilization of the ICT toolkits, UNESCO organized a 4-day training workshop hosted at Shimoni Core PTC for 18 tutors from the beneficiary hubs who received comprehensive and pedagogical training in technological skills and competencies needed to effectively aid teaching and learning amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic.

While officiating on behalf of the Commissioner, TEIT, Ms. Mugisha Annet, Ministry of Education and Sports expressed her gratitude to participants for the successful completion of the workshop. She noted, “just like any seed out there meant to be planted, you the participants ought to implement the concepts gained during the duration of the workshop and multiply what you have learnt.” She cautioned the participants to cast away the ‘lockdown mentality’ come January when educational institutions are set to reopen across the country.

Mr. Charles Draecabo, the UNESCO National Projects Coordinator in Uganda congratulated the participants upon successful completion of the 4-day workshop. He advised the tutors to always endeavor to improve their level of education. “Do regular continuous professional development especially in the areas of Information and Communication Technology which very soon will be one of the key areas.” Mr. Draecabo added.