Gayaza High School, Uganda has been selected as a finalist to pitch their idea on how to transform education using technology at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in March 2014.
Gayaza High School will be pitching their plan alongside other finalists for a chance to receive funding of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) from Microsoft and mentors for one (1) year to implement their ideas.
Gayaza High School’s winning idea is an ‘E-Market library’, which is an online library page with links to videos showing the processes of production within the small scale local enterprises in Uganda and where they are located.
The online library is expected to serve the purpose of marketing local businesses alongside giving youth an opportunity to learn from the successes of other businesses.
Gayaza High School Deputy Head Teacher commented that the youth today are being encouraged to be job creators and not job seekers but they do not have a library from where they can learn about the possible businesses that have succeeded in Uganda. As well,
The Uganda National Curriculum Development Centre is reviewing the curriculum of the lower secondary and the teachers are expected to use concrete examples of production within their classes and yet they do not have a library that can be used as a reference teaching tool.
“We expect to adapt the idea in to a well designed and free eLearning platform showing a library of instructional videos describing the processes of production within the local small scale enterprises to support the teachers as they embark on using a new curriculum in 2017 and the youth who want to start their own businesses,” he said.
The Deputy Head Teacher also mentioned that a trade fair on the 9th October –Independence Day will be organised at Gayaza High School to showcase and teach business models required for marketing enterprises using this very idea.
“We will invite different guests to this event including; District officials, community members, media, parents of our school, Head teachers, teachers and students from other schools for purposes of raising awareness among the public about the great value within the local enterprises and for marketing purposes,” he said.
For this particular project the school expects to train about one hundred forty four (144) students, aged between 12-19 years in basic ICT skills.
The School will pay more attention to the use of the Microsoft software packages, photography, videography and editing using Windows live movie maker.
“The students will work in groups of twelve (12) together with two (2) teachers with a focus on a particular local enterprise. Each team will be required to create a simple website for the enterprise as well as receipt books, invoices, posters and flyers and use these to market their enterprise,” explained Mr. Ddungu.
Mr. Ddungu further noted that use of technology in schools in Uganda will help in improving on the delivery of the curriculum. He vowed that Gayaza High School will work closely with other schools and mentor their teachers in adopting the use of technology in their work.
“Schools only need to find the one passionate teacher to drive the change process and from one, a second will quickly come up and the process will continue. However the leadership is key and one of the heads of school must decide to be part of this change,” he said.
This year’s Microsoft in Education Global Forum will attract participation from ninety seven (97) countries and one thousand one hundred (1,100) attendees including:
· 150 Government Education Leaders
· 250 Educators, representing our Expert Educator program
· 300 School Leaders from the most innovative schools around the globe
· 30+ Global Media
· 50+ Sponsors, including Pearson, Promethean, Acer, Dell, Intel and JP Sa Couto among others
The other schools selected as finalists in the Global Forum include;
· 1. Saint John’s School, Chile
· 2. Broadclyst Primary School, UK
· 3. Appleby College, Canada
· 4. Crescent Girls’ School, Singapore
· 5. Schloss Neubeuern, Germany
The Microsoft in Education Global Forum event provides keynotes, workshops aligned to target audiences, media roundtables and briefings. Gayaza High School’s participation will be a great achievement as they carry Uganda’s banner to the global event.