The School of Computing and Informatics Technology (CIT) has held a workshop aimed at identifying strategies to improve the implementation of the computing curriculum in secondary schools. During the workshop held at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, Makerere University on 13th October, 2011, the participants noted that improving the quality of Computer Science education in Uganda can be achieved through the implementation of a comprehensive Computer Studies curriculum for Advanced (A) Level students. This will provide them with a solid educational foundation needed to pursue computing courses at institutions of higher learning.
The participants also called for the re-training of teachers to equip them with skills on how to add value in teaching using computers and other ICTs, the need to sensitize school administration and board of governors on the cost-benefits of Computer Studies and having an ICT policy within their schools. They noted that the Ministry of Education and Sports could work with organizations like Uganda Communication Commission to equip more schools with computers and also avail them with software.
In her remarks, the Dean of the School of Computing and IT, Dr. Josephine Nabukenya, noted that in developing countries like Uganda, many students admitted to study Computer Science in institutions of higher learning lack a formal computing background and this hampers their ability to quickly grasp and understand the subject matter being taught in class. “Majority of the students admitted in CIT first see computers in the School’s laboratories. This means that CIT is admitting students not on the basis of their proven interests and background in computing but rather on the number of points they score during their final high school examinations,” she added.
Mr. Boniface Mugisha, the Director of Technical Services at the National Infrastructure Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U) said all schools within close location (about 10km) of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) will be connected to the project using wireless network and this will enable the schools access high speed Internet.
The Principal, College of Computing and Information Sciences, Prof. Ikoja Odongo, called upon the government to mobilize resources to equip all schools with computers and also avail them with power. He added that CIT was willing to work with the School of Education and other stakeholders to develop an undergraduate programme that addresses the needs of Computer Studies teachers.
The workshop, facilitated by Dr. Julianne Sansa-Otim and Mr. Michael Kizito from CIT is part of the activities under a project titled “A Grassroots Approach to improve the Quality of Applicants of Computing Programs at the University.” It attracted Computer Science teachers from various schools countrywide, representatives from NITA-U, Ministry of Education and Sports, the National Curriculum Development Centre, Ministry of ICT and the School of Education, Makerere University.