Uganda’s Assistant Commissioner of the Communications and Information Management Unit from the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports, Mr. Patrick Muinda, answered a few questions about the upcoming Innovation Africa conference, to be hosted at Speke Resort in Munyonyo, Uganda from September 30 – October 2.
Q: The Innovation Africa 2015 theme is “Developing Skills for the 21st Century Africa.” What skills in particular do you believe are valuable in Africa now?
A: The skills we believe are valuable in Africa now are:
- Data Base administration and Development
- Website management and development
- Systems Administration and development
- ICT equipment maintenance
Q: How have ICT skills gained importance in Uganda’s economy in the 21st century?
A: To mention but a few, there is growth in the energy sector, biotechnology and in the education sector for teaching and learning. Patterns of work and leisure clearly show how ICT at the work place and in recreational centers has greatly gained importance. This has strengthened the country’s economy through creating income generating ventures by providing better and faster service delivery. Better and faster decision-making is also a result of ICT skills gaining importance in Uganda’s economy through the effective collection, generation, processing, recording, re-management and exploration of information.[related-posts]
Q: Is the Ugandan education system adequately equipping students with 21st Century skills? What is the Ministry of education doing to develop 21st century skills in Ugandans?
A: The Government has introduced compulsory computer studies to secondary schools and we are providing computers and software to the schools to enable the studies. We are also retooling science teachers every holiday to teach ICT.
The education system is doing its best amidst various challenges
Q: Can you provide some examples of recent achievements and milestones in ICT skills development here in Uganda?
A: We have installed software in some government schools including Teachers’ Instructor Management Information System (TIMIS) at Pilot level and Cyber school (Learning Management System) which is on going.
We also have Computer Studies being offered at ordinary and Advanced Secondary level, Universities, teachers Institutions and are examined at National Level.
Q: Does the Ministry of Education have any new developments in ICT education to announce?
A: ICT labs have been constructed in over 1,027 schools. These labs are equipped with computers and learning management systems for the students. Teachers in science subjects are currently being retooled to teach ICT effectively. This has had a positive outcome in the performance of science subjects and the application of ICT in some sampled schools.
Q: What does the Ministry of Education expect of this year’s Innovation Africa conference, to be held in Uganda? In particular, what benefits and accomplishments does it hope to mark in this conference?
A: The Ministry of Education hopes to see more people becoming aware of the importance of ICT for economic growth. We hope to see several top ICT companies coming to Uganda to showcase the latest technologies and thereafter, have several investors taking on these technologies for application in Uganda for better service delivery and economic growth.
We hope to see business partnerships developing between the Government of Uganda and other participating states to enable trade of key technologies to and from Uganda for economic development of the country and for the economic benefit of the participating countries.