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Thursday, February 19, 2015

RIC-NET CARRIES OUT REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SESSION FOR CONFLICT AFFECTED SCHOOL DROP OUT GIRLS




As part of the Global Fund for Children project: advancing the dignity of vulnerable children and youth that aims at equipping out of school conflict affected girls with livelihood, apprenticeship, entrepreneurship and reproductive health and providing in school conflict affected girls with psychosocial support and mentoring, counseling, reproductive health which help in raising girls’ confidence, awareness about STDs/HIV/AIDS and early pregnancies and reducing the effects of trauma caused by the conflicts .
RIC-NET carried out a one day reproductive health session which took place at Bundibugyo e-society center and brought 8 girls to the training. The session was facilitated by Mr. Kombi Godfrey on 16th Feb 2015.


some of the girls after the reproductive health session

The facilitator took girls through the following elements of reproductive health:

Reproductive Health Rights
Under this topic, the facilitator engaged participants in discussions on reproductive health rights and informed them that as youth, they are entitled to these rights during marriage. These are: a right to freedom from cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation, right to quality sexual life, right to information on contraceptives, right to safe abortion, right to child spacing, right to sex without coercion among others. These topics were further explained by the facilitator to generate meaning to the participants.

 Benefits of Reproductive health Education plus its sources
The facilitator shared with participants on benefits of reproductive health education and this was after participants had been asked to share their knowledge on this topic and stressed that they had learnt new terms such as female genital mutilation. The facilitator had shared with them what female genital mutilation meant and reasons for its being a barrier to women’s rights.
Participants were asked about sources of reproductive health education and services such as family planning, counseling antenatal and postnatal care. They had this to share: hospitals, health radio talk shows such as straight talk. In addition, the facilitator shared with them others:  NGOs, seminars, health centres.
Under this topic, the facilitator reminded participants on seeking reproductive health services from health centres in addition to the already mentioned sources. This is because youth thrust their peers who in most cases hardly have accurate information.

 Sexually Transmitted Infections
For basic understanding of Sexually Transmitted Infections, its symptoms, causes and preventive measures, participants were subjected to a video on STI such as HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis and Chlamydia. The video educated them on risk taking behaviors such as clubbing and taking alcohol. Though their attention had a bit been disrupted by hunger, exposing them to the video improved their listening and communication skills.
During discussions, the facilitator advised participants on seeking medical treatment in scenarios they identified themselves with any symptom of STI.  He went ahead in linking sexually transmitted infections to HIV/AIDS where he told participants that a person suffering from STI was at a higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and a person suffering from AIDs had higher chances of contracting STIs due to the immune system being invaded by the deadly disease HIV/AIDS. For those sexually active, they were to seek medical treatment together with their partners in cases where one or both partners had an STI.
The facilitator shared with participants on effects of Sexually Transmitted Infections such as leading to blockage of the fallopian tube, putting one at a risk of acquiring cancer such as cervical cancer. In addition, the facilitator informed participants that sexually transmitted infections were not only contracted trough penetrative sex but also anal and oral. Participants were facilitated on this element with the help of visual aids where they watched videos of some STDS.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I HAVE DISCOVERED THE MISSING LINK IN TEACHING OF ENGLISH.

Mr.Kule Eziron practically agreed to have realizing what was missing in his lesson planning and presentation of English language at Kilembe SS. This was during the training in use of ICT in lesson development and English methodology in teaching and learning of English at secondary schools level. The training was organized by Rwenzori Information Centers Network (RIC-NET) in conjunction with Connect for Change (C4C) and Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO) on the implementation of project “innovative teaching and learning English using ICT tools” by retooling teachers and Tutors of English in innovative teaching and learning using ICT.
The four day training was held from 7th to 10th January 2015 with the objective as To improve the teachers of English’ ability in the use of ICT in lesson planning, development and presentation”. The participants were the English heads of department and Teachers and ICT teachers from St Charles SS, Kilembe SS, St Thereza Girls and Bwera PTC. The training content included among others, the use of local photos (pstory), videos (CINEDUC).

Mr. Kule observed the missing links were the use of locally captured photo, use sound and videos in driving his lesson and the new innovative methodology of using the “Umbrella” in teaching tenses. He mentioned that the three items will shift the lesson from teacher centers to learner centered. “I have also realized there are millions of teaching materials online (internet) which require the teacher to sort what suits his/her lesson” these innovations will improve my lesson presentation in comprehension, composition writing and literature in English.

Ms Lillian from St Leo’s college shared her experience of how the “Umbrella” had made it possible for her learners to grasp the tense which cover a great part in the English examination at the final stage of education. About 12 teachers,2 tutors and 2 resource persons participated in his training. Some actions were reached to rollout these innovations in schools which shall be handled through mentorship. 

RIC-NET AWARDED CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION BY U-REPORT

U –report is a program by UNICEF that helps in making voices of youth heard. U-report is a free SMS- based system that allows young Ugandans to speak out on what's happening in communities across the country, and work together with other community leaders for positive change by sending SMS to 8500 at no cost.
RIC-NET among other partners was awarded the certificate for its continued efforts towards the project.

The certificates were awarded during the first u-report partners meeting in 2015 that took place at UNICEF offices on  Friday 13th of Feb. 2015.
The RIC-NET certificate was received by her staff Kenyana Evelyn on behalf of the organization.
To register as a u-reporter SMS “join” to 8500 for free.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WE ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS.


Teachers of English in Kasese agreed that “change begins with us”. This was during the reflection on the use of ICT in teaching and learning in secondary schools. The reflection was organized by Rwenzori Information Centers Network (RIC-NET) in conjunction with Connect for Change (C4C) and Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO) on the implementation of project “innovative teaching and learning English using ICT tools” by retooling teachers and Tutors of English in innovative teaching and learning using ICT.

The meeting was held on the 30th January 2015 with the objective as “To identify areas of progress and develop strategies that can improve the teaching-learning of English” in the project schools. The participants were the English heads of department and Teachers from St Charles SS, Kilembe SS, St Thereza Girls and Bwera PTC as direct implementors of the innovations in the school. The reflection was also attended by 1 senior English teacher Ms Lillian Kababgambe who had used the innovation before and how she enjoys her work currently. 18 people 6 female and 12 males participated in the focus group meeting.

It was observed that there is great progress in using ICT in teaching-learning process especially it has simplified work, increased interaction among the teachers in the department and improved local innovation in lesson development and delivery. In St.Thereza for example “the new innovations have got an impact on composition writing among the learners, teachers have integrated ICT in their daily activity and the innovation have been taken up by other departments like French and Geography”. In Kilembe secondary, “teaching using ICT has specifically improved team work among the teachers which has had an impact in lesson delivery and improved results. It has improved creative learning among the learners in composition writing; thus it’s easy to test the four skills”. Above all students have impressed ICT to do research. It has enhanced the school management to procure software’s for management to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
However the constant transfers of teachers affect the continuity and reduce the chance to measure the impact since new teachers are introduced and adapt to the innovation every year. The teachers need more training in online sourcing for teaching materials and how they can integrate them in the teaching syllabus.

Ms Lillian shared her experience of how using ICT in teaching made her work simpler and she was able to measure the students’ progress easily. She said that ICT innovation makes lesson presentation simple; teacher is able to learn the abilities of the learners very easily, improves class interaction and control and tickles the learning’s minds to the reality. Thus a teacher has to be more practical in lesson development.

A number of action points were agreed upon to form the next step of actions to handle the challenges  realized.RIC-NET/RWECO and the heads of department on behalf of the schools agreed to take the challenges ahead with more hands on trainings and mentorship conducted to cater for school and individual challenges.