Developing Technology Skills in Uganda
For over five years, the ITEC team and OASIS Community Learning, a local multi-academy trust, supported an IT classroom, connecting the remote village of Musoto to the Internet, and providing essential equipment for learning.
ITEC invested more than £30,000 in equipment for the project and raised about £20,000 through joint fundraising with Oasis. Musoto had only recently been connected to the national grid and the project was a major milestone for the village. Alongside local children, adults will be encouraged to develop their IT skills.
William Edibu, a former OASIS student, was employed by ITEC as an IT Manager with responsibility for overseeing the project and maintaining the computers. He was also able to pass on his skills to the students at OASIS Uganda, ensuring that access to technology could enable them to explore career paths that would otherwise have been inaccessible.
Speaking at the opening, ITEC’s MD Nick Orme said, “Technology can be truly transformative, which is why we are so proud to be working with Oasis to deliver valuable, transferrable IT skills to both children and adults. Knowing the IT suite is in safe hands and that William will be an inspirational teacher to others is a massive bonus.”
From the moment the team arrived at the school they saw the challenges and realised they would only be able to complete the job with the help of the community.
When the projector screen was too big to fit in the container and a server room needed to be built next door, the local community rescued the operation and got the team over the finish line. Under the team’s guidance, the community crimped cables, installed the computers and ran a connection between the shipping container and the server room. A local craftsman later turned up and sawed the projector screen to size, a local electrician arrived to upgrade the power and the team sourced a new router from Mbale.
As part of the fundraising efforts for this trip, ITEC staff rallied together for the Light Up Uganda campaign to supply Musoto with a clean light source. Only a third of the school’s pupils have access to electricity and many of the others have to do their homework next to toxic kerosene lamps.
“We approached ITEC because they have supported our academies in the UK and continue to be a valued partner," said Alvin Muhwezi, Country Director for Oasis Uganda Charitable Trust. "They understand the challenges we face in running academies like the one in Mbale – having only recently been connected to the national grid – and have worked hard to find solutions fit for the children and the wider community. In the future we are hoping to expand the IT programme to encourage adults from the village to learn new digital skills for personal development and possible future employment.”