OLPCorps MakerereUniversity Uganda

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Institution: Makerere University, Faculty of Computing and IT, OLPCorps Team, The Mifumi Project Short title: One Laptop Per Child – Africa. Descriptive title: A Computer aided learning project aiming at empowering children between the age of 5 and 12 with computers and computer literacy. Area: Information and Communication Technology Sub-area: Computer Science Applications; (ICT); Education; Child Development Duration of Project: 2 months


PROJECT SUMMARY This project intends to equip children between the age of 6 and 12 with laptop computers and knowledge to use these computers, in order to broaden their understanding and equip them as agents of change. The project will be carried out by the OLPCorps team Makerere in collaboration with the Mifumi Project, at Mifumi Primary School, and later maintained by the Project.

OBJECTIVES The main objective of this project is to enhance social-economic development of Uganda by equipping children with computers and user skills in order to enable them access information necessary for development. Specifically, the project would like to: a) Simply 1. Distribute 100 XO laptops to children in Mifumi Primary School. 2. To empower the children to maximize their potential through the help of the computers. BACKGROUND In Uganda today, most people are introduced to computers at university, which is about the age of 24, some never get introduced at all, as a result they cannot make use of computers to get information and help booster their productivity. Mifumi Primary school, in Tororo, Uganda, with a population of xxx young and brilliant children, is supported by the Mifumi Project to provide quality education to these students. One of the major challenges at Mifumi Primary school is that the children never get any introduction to computers. Even more challenging is the fact that many of these children also don’t get the opportunity to join secondary schools and therefore leave school without any computing knowledge. As a result, later in life, they cannot make use of computers to get information necessary for them to make useful decisions and to acquire more knowledge. They cannot also compete favorably with their computer literate partners. The introduction of computers to the children will help them gain access to useful information necessary not only to pass exams but also improve their general understanding of the world around them, it also helps improve their confidence as the interact, as well as their productivity at work. This is necessary in order to prepare them as leaders of tomorrow. Early introduction to the use of computers will help them appreciate the use of computers as an important learning tool and promote the use even at lower levels.

LOCAL PARTNER MIFUMI is an international aid and development agency that has worked over ten years, reducing the burden of poverty by securing basic rights for people living in remote communities of Uganda. MIFUMI supports the needs of and promotes protection for women and children affected by domestic violence and abuse, as well as bride price violations. The organization also works in close collaboration with partners in the diasporas.

Mifumi, through its child empowerment program, voices, will work together with the team to support the project and ensure its continuity.

FEASIBILITY The project requires technical knowledge of computers and social skills to help align the minds of the children with computers, this is provided by the team of students who are currently excellent students of computer science and psychology, Also the settings of the academic calendars allows for the project to be executed since the at the time, the university students are in holiday and the children in school. With the support of the Mifumi Project and the University, provision for the continuity of the project is made available.

RATIONALE This project is important because it will promote the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) objectives by enhancing practical skills, specifically, computer literacy. Early introduction to computers will make the children’s interaction with the computers easier and break up some negative attitudes and fears associated with using computers in daily chores and businesses. Availability of information through Internet surfing will also be simplified and hastened. In the end, national borders will cease to be, opportunities to trade online will be created, the digital divide bridged, electronic communication made easier etc. The result will translate into a faster economic growth including general improvement in lifestyle and thereby contributing to the achievement of the national goal to eradicate absolute poverty in Uganda by 2025.

3. Project Work plan

TASKS FOR MONTHS 1 AND 2 Identify students to participate. Distribute the laptops. Train the users and trainers Report about the project

METHODS The project will adopt a train-the-trainer approach, in order to ensure continuity, those that are trained will be equipped to also train others, This will be done initially by a team of five, including a 3 computer scientists to concentrate on the technical work and 2 psychologists with a computing background to align the minds of the children with the use of computers. The project will a run alongside the school program, and will take children from primary 4 to 7. These will be trained and also later used as trainers, in other words, a child trained in primary 4 can act as a trainer until he reaches primary 7 and later can still return to provide training and mentoring to others. Team members will use both English and Japadhola which are the two languages common in the area, English as the official and Jap as the native language, of which 3 of the team members are natives. The team will continue to visit the school twice each term to ensure continuity of the project.

PERSONNEL The people involved in this outreach action will be from academia: academic staff, undergraduate students from faculty of CIT and Mifumi Project staff.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT The project will be managed by the Makerere University OLPCorps during the first two months, during this time they will also work alongside the Mifumi Project which will then take charge of the project to ensure its continuity.

4. Project Outputs

• 100 XO laptops distributed. • 100 Trained users with both user and technical skills. • A report about all the activities that will have been carried out during the project. • A well documented continuity plan. 5. Risks to The Projects Risks Contingency plan • Too little funding • Adjust numbers of personnel and other costs before commencement of project. Bear in mind impact to length of project. • Too long (time) to complete • Strengthen project monitoring and evaluation and streamline sustainability / continuity issues.