Mbale school unveils smart classroom initiative

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Mbale school unveils smart classroom initiative
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In a groundbreaking step towards modernizing education, Mbale Senior Secondary School has launched a smart classroom project, transforming the traditional learning environment by integrating ICT such as laptops, desktops, projectors, and smart podiums.

This initiative, valued at over shs120 million  was co-funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) (shs80 million) and Mbale Senior Secondary School (shs50 million ).

The “Creating an ICT Convergence Classroom Environment and Strengthening Teachers’ ICT Capacity” project has equipped all 10 Senior One classrooms and 15 laboratories with projector screens, computers smart podiums, and other electronic equipment.

This significant upgrade aligns with the new lower secondary school curriculum, which emphasizes ICT integration in all subjects.

KOICA Country Director Jihee Ahn explained that the project aims to create a more engaging and resource-rich learning experience.

"These tools open up a world of possibilities, enabling students to explore subjects and develop critical digital skills. Moreover, teachers, now empowered with new skills and knowledge, can leverage technology to enhance their teaching methods, making learning more accessible and impactful for all students," Ahn stated, highlighting the necessity of ICT proficiency in preparing students for a technology-driven world, enhancing their learning experience, and providing them with essential skills for the future.

Moses Buyela, the Head Teacher of Mbale Senior Secondary School, expressed enthusiasm about the new technology's potential to enhance educational outcomes.

"With access to internet resources, teachers can supplement traditional library materials and make lessons more dynamic. For instance, a teacher can play a video from the internet to demonstrate concepts," Buyela said.

He noted that students are more attracted to technology-based learning compared to conventional chalkboard methods, and this initiative is expected to increase their engagement and knowledge retention.

The headteacher gave an olive branch to other schools across the region to benchmark from the initiative.

Mbale City Education Officer Lynace Nasimiyu and Industrial Division Deputy Resident Commissioner Amza Banja witnessed the project launch on behalf of the city's local government.

Nasimiyu described the initiative as a "significant milestone" in the journey towards integrating technology into education, which aligns well with the new curriculum's focus on hands-on learning.

She noted that without such technological installations technology, some aspects of the curriculum cannot be effectively implemented.

Nasimiyu emphasized that Mbale Senior Secondary School could serve as a model for other schools in the region and Uganda in general, demonstrating the benefits of integrating technology into education.

However, she also highlighted the challenge of sustaining the project, advocating for more support to extend the initiative to other classes.

Deputy RCC Amza Banja thanked KOICA for their generosity and support in supplementing government efforts to improve the learning environment.

He urged the school administration to ensure the effective use and maintenance of the installed equipment, underscoring the importance of these resources for the student's educational development.

The smart classroom initiative is the first of its kind in Uganda, transforming the educational landscape at Mbale Senior Secondary School.

It sets a precedent for other schools to follow, bridging the digital divide and equipping students with vital skills for the future.

Mbale SS is a fully government owned and aided school.

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