In Plan’s 2010 ICT Enabled Development report they focused on a number of challenges and solutions to the use of ICTs in the developing world by using profiles of numerous countries. One country they focused on was Uganda and since I am focusing on Uganda for my research I was inspired to look more into what Plan was prescribing for Uganda’s ICT development problems. Plan’s work in Uganda has centered around four main elements, including children’s participation and ICTs in education. The role of children in ICT work is something that we have discussed in class briefly under the subject of the One Laptop Per Child project but not much in a positive light. After reading about the need Plan identified in seeking greater access for children I sought to find a project that was implementing ICTs in education and having a positive impact. Plan’s report makes a note of the broad improvements of ICTs in the over all education system fore example: the numbers of trained teachers and desktop computers being introduced, but I wanted to see a project and direct application of ICTs in education.
Upon my research I found a project called, Inspiring Science Education for Girls Using Information Communication Technology. This project, founded in 2006, has three major objectives: encourage more girls into sciences, improve girls’ self-esteem and confidence, and improve performance of girls in sciences. These objectives were designed after research on the number of girls enrolled in science programs and the identification of a need to increase these numbers and the overall benefit it could have on the female and overall population. The project works to give girls access to positive mentors in the science fields through ICT camps and individual, well trained, teacher. It also works to provide an outlet to share information and projects through the organization of science fairs. Lastly it increases access to computers (over 1,000 refurbished computers have been delivered) that have networking capabilities. With these computers comes access to research tools and the formation of an online repository of learning resources . This resource is the most interesting aspect of the project and, in my opinion, a large step forward in connecting the girls in the program to past work as well as, indirectly, connecting them to each other.
Since its inception Inspiring Science Education for Girls Using Information Communication Technology has seen ten more schools wish to participate in the program and has trained more than 100 teachers. This project can be used as a vest practices example and is inline with Plan’s ICT vision and work in Uganda. There was little evidence that spoke negatively of this project and I feel that, from my research, this project has made strides in increasing the use of ICTs in education through internet and computer access.