Article

Three more Secondary Schools in Uganda receive UNESCO Digital Library Device

18/05/2021
04 - Quality Education

Mr. Wallace Asimvura, ICT Teacher at Rhino High School demonstrate how to use Digital Library Device © UNESCO/Uganda

UNESCO has been training teachers at all level in the region on the usage of a Digital Library Device called Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning (RACHEL). This initiative is focusing on “Building a culture of reading through digital media.”

On 10 and 12 May, three more schools in Uganda, West Nile Region: Rhino High School, Itula Secondary School and Alere Secondary School received the RACHEL from UNESCO. The meetings were presided by the District Education Officers for Adjumani and Madi Okolo Districts. Also, in attendance were the Secretary-General of  Uganda National Commission for UNESCO,  Teachers and the Settlement Commandant of Rhino Camp, and UNESCO National Project Coordinator in Uganda. Prior to this, UNESCO launched the initiative in Ariwa Secondary school in Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement and Lodonga Primary Teachers’ College (PTC) in Yumbe District, Northern Uganda, on 11March  2021.

This initiative aims to gradually build the culture of reading and self-learning using research on available materials in Digital Libraries. RACHEL contains a combination of freely available software and content modules that make it easy to bring online educational materials into places with limited or no internet access and power. RACHEL has an extended Wi-Fi range of up to 100 meters and learners within range can access content using mobile phones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers.

While delivering his remarks during the launch of Digital Library at Rhino High School, the Head Teacher of the institution, Mr. Adriko Asedri Richard, thanked UNESCO for the support to the institution, a support that is very timely and would go a long way in promoting the reading culture among students and staff.  He also urged the teachers and learners to use the materials on the platform for the preparation of their lessons to improve the quality of their teaching. Mr. Charles Draecabo, UNESCO National Project Coordinator in Uganda, stated that the Open Educational Resource toolkit introduced by UNESCO should be embraced by all students and teachers because it has revolutionized teaching and learning experiences and its utilization will enhance equitable learning opportunities for all.

Ms. Rosie Agoi, Secretary-General of Uganda National Commission for UNESCO, stated that, before COVID-19 pandemic, UNESCO and other Educational Partners had already thought of an integrated digital learning in their agendas and efforts were already underway to roll it out to beneficiaries.

UNESCO being a think-tank, began to think of how to reach hard-to-reach areas with this kind of support. The Digital Library will enhance research among teachers and learners even in remote areas, thereby responding to the SDG 2030 goals underpinned by the mantra “Leaving No One Behind”.

Ms. Rosie Agoi, Secretary-General of Uganda National Commission for UNESCO

The District Education Officer of Madi Okolo District Mr. Shem Ovua thanked UNESCO for the initiative and stated that e-learning complements the strategy on Universal Education.  He added that, the government of Uganda has introduced the new ICT curriculum as one of the key areas where students can be examined. He encouraged the school to design a mechanism where the local community schools can equally benefit from this digital library.  

Ms. Rosie Agoi (2nd left) and Mr. Charles Draecabo (4th left) pose for a group photo with Education partners and Staff of Itula Secondary School Moyo © UNESCO