Teachers Embrace ICTs
The Education Support Network (EsNET) Project implemented by OneWorld Africa has trained 35 secondary school teachers in basic computer skills, which include using the Internet.
The project also trained 6 volunteer editors in basic computer skills. The teachers trained were from Chikola in Chingola, Fatima and Kansenshi in Ndola, St Paul's and Caritas in Kabwe, Kafue boys in Kafue and Hillcrest in Livingstone. In addition, a total of nine computers and eight colour printers were supplied to all the schools.
The training were officially launched by the Programmes Manager of OneWorld Africa, Gay Nyakwende. In her speech at Kansenshi School in Ndola, Mrs. Nyakwende said OneWorld Africa aims at providing more people in Africa with the capacity to utilize locally available communications tools to develop and exchange content for development. She further said that OneWorld Africa sees value in helping improving the quality of education in Zambia and that the quality of teaching is measured by the number of pupils who pass their final exams in secondary High School and that OneWorld Africa was facilitating this dream through the EsNET.
“Ultimately, this training occasion will not only create learning opportunities for us as teachers in adapting the use of ICTs in our work, but will also help to establish and promote a learning network among all teachers in the pilot schools. Learning is a continuous process and therefore it is important for us to put in our utmost in this training in order to move with the rest of the world in adapting and adopting new technologies in our work. We cannot afford to continue using old and outdated methods in Zambia, when the rest of the world is advancing.” Mrs. Nyakwende said.
The teachers that participated in the training were very enthusiastic about what they learnt. Most of them had no knowledge on how to use computers but by the end of the training they were able to carry out the basic tasks on the computer. By the end of the course the teachers were able to type and print notes.
Teachers expressed concern over the serious shortage of teaching and learning materials in schools. They said the training in Basic ICT skills and the internet will greatly help the teachers download relevant material from the internet and at the same time allow them to gather more relevant materials from other teachers in other schools. The teachers have since called the Ministry of Education to launch the ICT Syllabus for Schools in Zambia. St Paul's High School was given as an example of the school that is teaching a fragmented syllabus based on the British, American and Kenyan ICT Curriculum.
Some teachers also felt that the time spent on preparing lessons for their pupils will be greatly reduced because it is much easier to change and improve past notes on the computer than it is on handwritten notes. The teachers also said with the knowledge of power point, which they learnt, they felt that some of the difficult lessons and others as well will be easier to present to a large number of pupils, with more effective impact than the traditional method.
The trainings were conducted by Coldreed training of Lusaka in conjunction with OneWorld Africa.