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.