MTN Project: Skilling for the Future (S4F)

Digital Content Development for Secondary Schools

Project Background
Providing education in any society is as old as mankind. Over the years, the skills set (curriculum) and the methods and approaches used to pass it on to learners have been changing depending on the needs of society. Through education, communities have acquired skills to prepare them for the future.
In today’s interconnected world, countries and communities prepare children for a global stage. Education focuses on meeting the needs of the community as well as preparing graduates to be relevant anywhere in the world. The education systems seek to prepare children to be successful and competitive in a 21st century economy. Integration of ICT in education has been key in levelling the training ground across countries.
In Uganda, improving education is no longer a question of increasing access to school, but also improving the quality of education (Education Planning Department, 2004). Emphasis is put on what pupils learn and how they learn it.

Over a period of six years, the percentages of S.2 students rated proficient in mathematics during the National Assessment of Progress in Education (NAPE) are 69.4% in 2008; 58.8% in 2009; 49.7% in 2010; 38.2% in 2011; 43.6% in 2012 and 46.9% in 2012. These percentages are normally less by the end of the cycle (S.4).
However, all is not lost. NCDC hopes to overcome some of the barriers that have led to poor performance with the redesign of the curriculum and proposed use of ICT to make it more learner-centred. ICT as a tool can be both a lever and catalyst for improving the quality of education and enhance effectiveness of traditional face-to-face training approaches. ICT enhanced learning materials motivate learners to learn because they are interactive, appeal to the learner’s senses of touch, hearing, seeing, moving and help to demystify abstract concepts in the content. Research has shown that people can remember 20% of what they see, 40% of what they see and hear, and about 75% of what they see, hear and interact with simultaneously (Lindstrom, 1994). It also creates opportunities for collaborative learning, peer interaction – the 21st century skills. The products from this project will make lessons and teaching interactive, interesting as well as help students overcome the prejudices such as “Mathematics a difficult subject”.

S4F, a public private initiative, aims at introducing the use ICT as a tool to support teaching and learning in Ugandan schools. This will be through developing digital interactive education support materials. The project intends to equip 4 NCDC staff and 15 school teachers with ICT skills for developing or customising interactive digital education materials, directly reach 15 secondary schools; 900 learners; 60 school managers; 30 teachers; parents, community leaders and policy makers to cause a paradigm shift towards interactive learning. The project will go a long way in improving people’s perception of use of ICT as a tool for in the teaching and learning process by 2018.

S4F Goals and Objectives
The goal of this project is to initiate use of ICT as a tool for implementing the proposed reformed curriculum for lower secondary.
The objectives of this project will be to:
a. Design and develop digital learner-centred curriculum materials based on the proposed curriculum so as to support the teaching and learning of mathematics at Senior One in 15 selected secondary schools.
b. Produce and share ICT enhanced materials on various platforms/media (online and offline)
c. Orient teachers in the use of ICT enhanced teaching and learning materials.
d. Develop and implement an effective monitoring and evaluation system for the pilot initiative.