Reforming Rural Education with Mobile Computer Classrooms

Rural schools are frequently short funding and resources for programs including computer labs to teach basic computer literacy and coding skills. ICT4Education is approaching this problem with the idea that if the students can’t go to the classroom, the classroom goes to the students.

BBS supports this innovative approach to addressing this gap in the education of rural students in Uganda through their mobile computer classroom.

The backdrop: The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on schooling in Uganda was a generational catastrophe in the history of education as it exacerbated the multiple challenges the country’s education sector already faced before the pandemic. The situation was even worse for the largely rural and vulnerable regions like Busoga in the eastern part of the country where access to computer literacy and e-learning platforms is limited due to poverty and inability of the parents to afford such an education for their children. This pandemic and the subsequent lockdown of schools demonstrated an urgent need to consider information and communications technology (ICT) as a key tool in the education sector for every Ugandan child. In addition to lacking the financial capacity to set up and maintain their own computer labs, 90% of the rural primary schools in Uganda don’t have electricity and cannot afford the cost of installing solar energy equipment in their facilities. Of the 357 rural primary schools in Jinja and Iganga Districts alone, only 30 have computer laboratories where learners can access basic computer knowledge and get to access academic information of their interest using the internet. Learners across over 327 schools in these 2 districts have never had the opportunity to attend any ICT programs in their schools to equip them with even the basic computer skills.

Starting in November 2021, the idea of a mobile computer lab was piloted in two schools in Jinja district after which ICT4Education was born. Today the mobile lab delivers practical computer sessions to pupils across 4 rural primary schools, equipping them with basic computer knowledge, promoting research to improve their academic excellence while enabling them to use ICT to provide a better understanding of their career aspirations.

Computer literacy in today’s world is a must. This page is dedicated to supporting ICT4Education’s desire to increase the number of mobile classrooms and the necessary equipment to run more sessions in rural schools.

Further Introduction to ICT4Education

Mission: Reforming Rural Education through Computer Literacy

Vision: To tackle this gap in a direct way. We use a mobile computer lab to deliver practical computer sessions.

What They Do: Enable pupils who have never touched and never dreamt of touching or using a computer in their life enjoy this experience and be inspired to desire more in their academic journey.

Community Outreach Approach: In an effort to foster computer literacy and promote buy-in towards ICT in the community, they also organise and conduct out-of-school computer sessions to give stakeholders (parents, local and other opinion leaders) an opportunity to experience the potential that ICT use can bring in promoting education. They therefore always encourage adults to join their sessions and experience first-hand what ICT offers.

How ICT4Education Works: With professionals on board, the take pride in training their students in different computer skill include web design, computer applications, graphics design and more. We organize exhibitions, concerts and computer events to encourage our students, and to participate with other professional people in the technology fields.

Did You Know: The 2019/20 Uganda National Household survey also indicates that the proportion of the Ugandan population that owns a computer or laptop is only 2 percent, with 50 percent noting the high cost of digital gadgets as a barrier to access. In addition, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs indicates that 70 percent of the mobile phones in rural areas are basic and feature phones which are not internet-enabled. These statistics explain why during the countrywide closure of schools due to Covid-19, most Ugandan pupils, most whom were from rural communities were unable to access remote learning and resulted in signficant interruptions in learning, dropping out of school, and increased risk for child labour and early marriages. The future of these pupils’ education was uncertain for two years straight.

100% of Your Donation will go to the Mobile Computer Labs

ICT4Education Class & Student Image Gallery