Collaborative GrantProposal:Institutional Capacity and experience

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KABAROLE DISTRICT

Background

The combination of the Kasiisi Project and MOM University bring together 14 years of  planning, implementing, supervising  and evaluating educational programs in rural government primary schools. We have a small budget (approx $170,000 a year) but extensive experience 2 years of experience deploying XOs in a rural Ugandan school with the supervisory capabilities of a Community University which has both IT and education departments.
MOMU brings educational outreach  to eastern Uganda via extension departments throughout the region. This is the perfect set up for future expansion of the program.
The Kasiisi Project has trained teachers, understands the difficulties of introducing advanced technology to naïve , nervous and undertrained staff. We have worked with the school to integrate the 170 computers into science, conservation and literacy. We have uploaded talking books, tests, books etc to the server and accessed them on the OLPCs
We have worked with teachers to help them realize the potential of the computers.
We have loaded information onto the wiki and students use this facility for research and investigation.
We have not yet accessed the internet on them.
We have done digital mapping projects, used the computers to measure environmental factors with electronic sensors.
We have peer-teaching programs where older children teach the younger ones.

 

This said – none of this was easy. Each school absolutely needs a full time OLPC expert to get the program up and running and even with this it took us a year before the school staff could comfortably take over and that is with 6 weeks of intensive training with the kids, weekly staff training sessions for the rest of the year, conventional computer courses at the local university etc .  The kids have computer club 6 days a week during the term for 1.5 hours a day and it is offered during the holidays. The OLPCs for those used to conventional computers are hard to use – we had issues with the server, which kept breaking down, the networking capabilities only extended to few computers and they are SLOW. The new versions should fix this problem but currently it is hard to cover much in a class due to this problem. Charging the computers using a generator also posed challenges. It was very hard to get technical help from OLPC. With only very slow e-mail at best it was not easy to access wikis and caht pages etc to which when our e-mails did get answered we were directed. These deployments need someone who is very teccy and really knows their way around OLPC (Nick Doiron for instance) because they do not come with an instruction book and there is no feeling that you are ever dealing with a finished product. There is s huge gap between lab based projects in the US and using these computers in rural Africa with little support.

Ugandan teachers have very full days (8-5), giant classes – P5 and P6 at Kasiisi are 180 and 130 respectively . They have a rigid and crammed curriculum, are undertrained and overworked. The last thing they want is to have to think about is new projects that they see as adding to their work. Also District Education Authorities are wary of any programs that they see might take away from core subjects

 

University: Mountains of the Moon

Schools: (if this is too much we would reduce to the 5 rural schools that we have the best knowledge of)

5 rural government primary (Kasiisi, Kyanyawara, Kiko, Kigarama, Rweetera) – see attached map

5 municipal (Fort Portal)???

 

Grades: P5 and P6

# students: 2500-3000 (1500  if only rural)

Language of instruction: English

Project Coordinator for  University side:
Prof.
Prof> John Kasenene: Vice-Chancellor – Mountains of the Moon University

Project Coordinator for rural schools ;
Prof Kohn Kasenene : Kibale Forest Schools and Student Support Project
Dr Elizabeth Ross: Kasiisi Project Director
Caroline Riss LLB : Kasiisi Project Field Director

Project Coordinator for municipal schools: ??

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