I had a conversation today with Amani , my son, that my father would never have dreamt having with me in the 80's growing up in Kabale, Uganda. I'm going…
I started the The TOD Idea ltd three years ago for the simple reason that integrating ICTs in education was shown, through extensive research, to better learning outcomes. In Africa,some reports indicated that it reduced truancy. At my home, technology sparked curiosity and engagement in my 10 year old son. He always wanted to know more.
But it was not being used in Ugandan schools. At home, technology eas mainly for entertainment and rarely for education. Someone needed to innovate around this. That somebody was me!
Together with my team at The TOD Idea, we thought up the idea of innovating around the cost constraint that prevents ICT integration into primary school education.
The lack of a national policy on ICT in primary schools, a dearth of ICT trained teachers, a lack of internet infrastructure and the cost implications of installing, stocking and maintaining computer labs connive to prevent our Ugandan children access to these most important skills.
TechKids ICT charges each child 20,000/= ( about 6 USD) per term and delivers ICT lessons to each paid up child once a week for one hour.
We bring the hardware (Chinese Android Tablet PCs) , the software, the curriculum and the tutors to the school.
This frees the school and hopefully the parents of the cost constraint and delivers high quality pedagogy to the students at a minimum fee.
I embarked on a journey to reach 5000 children within one year of the idea’s inception and among several organisations I contacted was Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) .
KCCA came on board as a partner and we started on a pilot basis. 10 schools for starters, two in each of the five divisions, one government sponsored(UPE) and the other private sponsored. This was to help bridge the digital divide among KCCA schools. We have been tasked to organise an event at the end of the year to showcase hands on ICT skills gained this year by the learners through our classes.
We have also, through our own efforts, gotten access to three more schools outside the KCCA docket; Mother’s Heart , Blue Bells and Atlas Junior School, all in Wakiso District, Uganda.
The biggest opportunity is that there is close to no engagement with ICTs among Ugandan Primary Schools. The chance to make a noticeable change and touch many lives is NOW!
I have received many words of encouragement from educational practitioners and parents at large. I believe this is the correct thing to be doing right now for my country.
Since we started, I have hired an additional 8 tutors to help start this project( http://todidea.com/the-tod-idea-family-grows/). We are continuously learning and looking to improve.
By year’s end, upon doing a stellar job with KCCA schools, more schools will be added to the TechKids ICT family. KCCA currently oversees over 300 primary schools in Kampala. That alone presents with an unimaginable opportunity to touch and impact more children. Moreover, our mission is to cover the whole of Uganda.
Hardware! This is the biggest challenge we face and for which I seek assistance. We need 53.5 USD for a 9 inch Android Tablet PC and it’s casing which doubles as keyboard. We need 1000 Tablet PCs to start. We have 52 and about 2 weeks to get started on a new term.
We are estimating starting this term with 1400 children and so are in dire need of hardware.
I therefore call upon interested parties to come on board and help me achieve my goal of getting Ugandan children learning the skills to help them become global participants.
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