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200,000 Teachers to be trained in ICT by Microsoft

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Under Ministry of Education and Microsoft partnership, over 200,000 teachers will be equipped with computer skills in a bid to modernize and improve learning using technology in the classroom. This was disclosed by the Minister of Education Namirembe Bitamazire and Microsoft officials during the Uganda National Innovative Education Forum held last week at Hotel Africana in Kampala. The minister said the project will benefit underprivileged schools since it will now be possible for schools to share information and good teachers using advanced technology. 'This project will help bridge the gap in performance between rural schools and urban schools. It will be possible for many schools to share one teacher online and the excuses of rural schools not performing well because of under qualified teachers and lack of resources won't come up anymore,' said Bitamazire.

The project will see ICT integrated in the school curriculum from the primary level up to university. It will also introduce new teaching and learning skills such as the use of smart boards in class instead of the traditional blackboards and establishment of digital libraries. 'This is a very big project that will benefit many Ugandans and I cannot even quantify it in terms of money. We want to provide comprehensive systems bringing together people, practices and technology to provide quality education,' said Mark Matunga the education and citizenship programme manager Microsoft East and Southern Africa. The officials said this project will also be made possible by the arrival of the Seacom fibre optic cable that will improve the national telephony backbone. This will also cut down internet costs by almost 10% and increase the speed. The five-year project will be implemented in partnership with Makerere University Faculty of Information and Communication Technology and ICT Consults Ltd.

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