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Sunday, June 30, 2013

RIC-NET INVESTS IN MONITORING AND EVALUATION TRAINING FOR HER STAFF



In an effort to enhance the ability of staff in project monitoring and evaluation, RIC -NET supported 10 staff, four female and six staff in a one week intensive training at the mountains of the moon training.
The training held on 29th May – 5th June 2013 equipped the staff with more knowledge of conducting data collection, monitoring and evaluation and writing an M&E report. Most of the staff were excited about the Logical framework and knowing that Monitoring is required on a daily Basis for personal and institutional development.
As RIC-NET supported the staff, it   was anticipated that the members will use the knowledge and skills to do more resource mobilization, have strengthened control  measures for  resources    entrusted per staff and more so write better reports.
The training was also spiced by the two lecturers Mr. Khadir Rwambale and Mr. Eric Ssekitoleko who used brainstorming method and practical examples ensuring all participants are on Board.
The training ended with an assessment of which participants were awarded a certificate.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

TUTORS APPRECIATE THE INTEGRATION OF ICT IN EDUCATION.



TUTORS APPRECIATE THE INTEGRATION OF ICT IN EDUCATION.

Tutors and Student Teachers who participated in the training of integration ICT in teaching have applauded the innovation as enriching. This was revealed at Canon Apolo Core PTC in Kabarole District by the participants during the 3 day Training from 18th- 20th June 2013. The participants were college Tutors, student teachers and supervisors. The trainings was conducted by Rwenzori Information Centers network [RIC-NET] and Computers for Schools Uganda [CFSU] under the theme; “ICT ENABLED INNOVATIVE TEACHING METHODS OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE”
 ICT for Education (ICT4E) refers to use of ICT devices and tools to support teaching and learning across the curriculum. ICT is not the main focus of learning, but supports the learning process. This refers to the use of technical aspects of ICT to extend and enhance the pupil’s learning in English and other subjects. The use of ICT however, makes new activities and approaches to the teaching of English possible.

In the context of the school curriculum, students/tutors are expected to explore, conduct research, write reports, do assignments, carryout personal revision and participate in discussions and present their individual or joint assignments. Computers can aid all these tasks and can move instruction/teaching away from the teacher-centered model to one that is more conducive to student problem-solving, written communication; creativity and collaborative skills – skills identified as necessary for 21st Century success.


Some of the benefits of integrating ICT into teaching and learning include the following; ICT caters for Different learning Styles of learners, it enables learners to play an active role in learning, it increases the attention span of learners, it provide real-life experience, it encourages collaborative approach to learning, it improves presentation of work, as well as offering flexibility of anywhere anytime learning during the teaching learning process.

ICT innovations also involve “Digital Storytelling,” it involves combining the art of telling stories with a variety of digital multimedia, such as images, audio, and video. Digital stories bring together some mixture of digital graphics, text, recorded audio narration, video and music to present information on a specific topic. As is the case with traditional storytelling, digital stories revolve around a chosen theme and often contain a particular viewpoint. The stories are typically just a few minutes long and have a variety of uses, including the telling of personal tales, the recounting of historical events, or as a means to inform or instruct on a particular topic.

The potential for integrating speaking and listening, reading and writing can be enhanced by use of interactive multimedia resources. Most importantly, ICT engages pupils to work actively on language both when reading and writing and has the potential to highlight the way in which meaning is constructed.
After the training the Deputy Principle who closed the training thanked the training team for the good work in trying to simplify teaching learning process and pledged total support to the innovations. She asked those who have acquired the knowledge to pass it over to others properly and keep applying regularly.

BUNDIBUGYO E-SOCIETY RESOURCE CENTRE TO RESUME WORK


RIC-NET staff (Kyomuhendo Joselyne, Muhindo Geoffrey and Biira Milly) on 19th June, 2013 traveled to Bundibugyo district to monitor the running of the E-society Centre and to also share with the local government leaders its sustainability.
This follows a standstill that was caused on the full operation of Centre by the heavy rains that blew the Roof top of the building housing the E-society Centre on 8th March 2013. E-society equipment; computers, desks and chairs were relocated and kept in a smaller room while the affected building was being repaired. All the while however the Officer in-charge was finding it difficult to conduct his daily schedules like before.
During the monitoring visit, RIC-NET staff met and discussed with the Chief Administrative Officer Mr. Kalisa Hebert, the Vice Chair Person LCV Mr. Mbalibulha Godfrey about the re-opening of the affected building and the operations of the e-society centre. The visiting team learnt that the building had been repaired and the equipment would be moved into it by end of month to allow for the activities of the Centre to resume.
  RIC-NET staff with Mr. Mbalibulha in the repaired E-society centre.
Discussing the Centre’s sustainability the meeting agreed that sourcing  for strong partner organizations like ESCO, OLAM, World Vision, Save the Children to use and support the  Centre  stand and keep in business even RIC-NET’s  direct financial and technical support ends. Kasese E-society centre was given as an example of where this strategy has worked. The Program manager noted that the District was made to appreciate the need and relevance of the Centre and lobbied Central Government to allow to them recruited a permanent ICT officer to run the Centre. Apparently Public Service already advertised the position and soon an IT Officer will be recruited. Commenting on the contribution of the Centre the Vice Chairperson Hon Mbalibulha Godfrey Revealed that the E-society center is playing a big role in  making fast and reliable information sharing with the community through internet and the secretarial services, and enhancing staff capacities through the ICT trainings offered at the Centre.

The meeting was a success and the whole trip interesting. The team was pleased by the new good road that has made transport a lot easier and Bundibugyo easily accessible, in addition to this are the beautiful newly constructed police staff houses; thanks to Government for the great work done for Bundibugyo district.
Fort Portal Bundibugyo road under construction
Conclusively Bundibugyo district is growing at a very high speed due to improved technology, infrastructure and skilled personnel employed at the district. I believe that in the next years to come the whole community will have been transformed and developed than was in the previous years. 




                                                                              

District leaders in Teso and Central regions trained in web site and E-library management

Bright on a Monday afternoon, the RIC-NET ICT team got on the wheels to Teso region to equip the District leaders with ICT skills.
The training that kicked off on a Tuesday 18th -19th June 2013 at Public Affairs Center (PAC) Uganda in Soroti town attracted District leaders from Soroti, Kaberamaido, Serere and Ngora. In attendance were the District Information officers, Records officers, District Planners among others.
The two days comprehensive training started with remarks and highlights from the PAC Executive Director Mr. Benson who welcomed the leaders for having honored the invitation and turned up for the training saying it was a good sign of public private partnership. He also welcomed the facilitators from RIC-NET who had gone to conduct the training.
The hands on training saw the leaders through website updating and E-library management which they appreciated and promised to use the E-platforms effectively to share information timely.
“We really liked the training and we hope it’s going to help us update our websites and share timely information” said one of the trainees. The trainees were taken through social media like twitter, skype and also blogging as another way of sharing information in time.
The four districts that attended the training appreciated the design of their District platforms. E-libraries at http://elibrary.serere.go.ug , http://elibrary.soroti.go.ug , http://elibrary.ngora.go.ug and http://elibrary.kaberamaido.go.ug . The districts promised to avail information and those that had it availed it to the technical staff and they were promised to have their websites up as soon as they are fed with data to be hosted at www.serere.go.ug in that order.
The training in numbers attracted 12 participants 10 male and 2 female.

To the central
Late evening of a Wednesday was another long route that led the ICT team to the central region ready for the training in Kiboga and Kayunga Districts.
The Kiboga training took place on 20th -21st June 2013 at Kiboga District headquarters in the Information office.
This attracted the District information officer, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer and the Records officer.
Same content as for Teso was administered to the Kiboga team which also appreciated the training.
Kayunga District received the same training from 24th -25th June 2013 at kayunga District headquarters. The training attracted 4 female and 1 male making a total of 5 participants.



Monday, June 24, 2013

HELP! PATIENTS AT BUHINGA HOSPITAL ASK RIDE-AFRICA.

our children and relatives are dying due to neglence and lack of medical care from the nurses and doctors; many more patients are in critical conditions and likely to die soon if no care is given to them still”  thus  asserted ,lusiano a care taker of a patient at Buhinga Hospital. Early on a bright Thursday morning 20/06/2013 patients at Buhinga hospital flooded RIDE-AFRICA offices begging for it’s intervention in the appalling health situation at the hospital. Among others patients complained of denial of medical care for instance one Nantune Sylivia complained of having not received drugs or seen a health worker for the past three days.



 RIDE-AFRICA is human rights based Non-Governmental Organization operating in the Rwenzori region and also geared at improving service delivery in the health sector. Thus patients stormed RIDE-AFRICA asking them to follow up with the hospital administration and the other relevant authorities to plead their cause or table their challenging situation with the hope that they would be easily listened to.
This follows the on-going strike of medical workers at the hospital that accrued from the delayed payment of their salary by Government. Akatukwatsa Patricia a nurse at the hospital revealed that they had not been paid salary for the last two months of April and May. She notes that they have failed to send their children to school or even afford descent meals lately.

This delay of salaries has grossly demotivated the health workers from working. Patients revealed that most health workers had deliberately passed them by and refused attend to them, and for those patients who had been taken to theatre for operation, they had been left there with their wounds open. Think about a young boy who under goes operation for stomach discomfort and as the nurses and doctors go strike, the innocent operated boy is left with his wound wide open under untold suffering and pain. This is the story or current situation of Asaba Hillary……The stench from his open wound now welcomes whoever visits the ward. 

Responding to the disgruntled patients the RIDE-AFRICA deputy executive director Miss Kahunde Erin expressed their heartfelt sympathy and pain to the patients, adding that it is unfortunate that they were suffering due to situations they did not cause. She however asked the patients to remain calm as they seek a solution to the appalling situation.

Ms Erina then called the district Chairman LCV and informed him of the situation. In his response (on phone), Hon. Rwabuhinga Richard He apologized for government’s continued failure to pay health workers’ salaries at Buhinga on time, explaining that for the number of times this has happened Health workers have been forced to strike, abandon work and hence leave the patients at the mercy of God. The Chairperson,. The Chairperson asked the patients to take heart and go back to the hospital promising to follow up with the hospital administration.
Following this Erina appealed to the patients and their caretakers to remain calm and optimistic for Ride Africa was going to seriously follow up their concerns with all the respective leaders till they are adequately addressed, explaining that that is Ride Africa’s mandate. With the reassuring messages from the Chairman LCV and Ride Africa, the patients at exactly 2:30.pm walked back to the hospital.
Taking my own judgment, health workers or any other person who would follow soot to look for other better ways of handling their grievances than choosing to punish people in the name of seeking for attention!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

RWECO/RIC-NET CONTINUES TO EMPOWER SCHOOLS THROUGH ICT

RWECO / RIC-NET staff visited the Secondary Schools in Kasese District on 10th - 11th June 2013 in order to get feedback on the progress of ICT enabled Teaching of English language in Schools. The team that included John Silco, Strida and Jimmy visited St. Charles Secondary School, Bwera Teachers College, St. Theresa Girls’ Secondary School and Kilembe Secondary School under the theme of “empowering schools through the use of ICT”. The meetings were attended by the head teachers/ Principal, one ICT Teacher and the Head of the English Department.
STUDENT IN THE ENGLISH LAB AT ST. CHARLES VOC SECONDARY SCHOOLS


 During the discussion, the parties agreed to share information across all schools through interactions and open discussions, agreed on training on 4th and 5th July 2013 of English Teachers on design and development ICT enabled methodology/ Skills in teaching of English and offer maintenance backup support. The issue of students’ actively participating essay writing competitions under three categories of: corruption, service delivery and the love for English as a language was stressed.

AT ST. THERESA GIRLS SEC SCHOOLS
 The schools were encouraged to setup a language library, procure readers or novels in order for students to improve on their vocabulary and students reading skills. Most of the Head Teachers promised to make use of the career days like parents days, sports days, and independence days to encourage students use their skills. Schools were encouraged to the use of bulky messages in order to make communication with parents very easy and visit the www.eduvoice.ug .
NOTING ISSUE OF CONCERN AFTER MEETING AT KILEMBE SSS
Conclusively, RWECO promised additional equipments to Schools which included laptop, two desktop computers, speakers, Projector, Projector screen, Generator and Internet modem. By Muhindo strida