classroomAuthorities in Lira district in Uganda are to use Information Communication and Technology (ICT) gadgets to monitor teachers’ attendance in classes to curb absenteeism starting next academic term. The project is spearheaded by the Lira NGO Forum and funded by the Over Seas Development Institute (ODI) in the United Kingdom and supported by the district authorities.

This was revealed by Lira NGO Forum boss Daniel Okello during the review of a five-year Mwananchi Programme, organized by Development Research and Training (DRT) at Makerere University on Thursday.

The Forum  has  already secured 4,500 Pounds (about sh17m) to secure the first set of gadgets to be used, says Forum boss, Daniel Okello.

“We intend to start with 50 phones connected to internet. We shall pay for them but will be maintained by the communities and the district. They will be managed by selected children in different schools who will be sending messages to the District Inspector of Schools,” he said.

The forum will provide four laptops connected to internet to district authorities which will be connected to the phones. The plan is to start with 50 schools before rolling it out to the entire country. We have partners who have shown interest in this model and are willing to support us,” he said.

The programme launched in 2009, was coordinated by DRT, funded by Department of International Development (DFID) and supported by ODI.

He said research shows that absenteeism is responsible for poor performance in Universal Primary Schools and must be eliminated.

The programme coordinator, Andrew Kawoya said Mwananchi was aimed at coming up with various models and approaches to give communities a voice to hold government accountable at all levels.

Source: New Vision