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Monday, May 29, 2017

Secondary Education in Uganda- City Secondary School

Today, we visited City Secondary School, a private boarding school, that is a combination of middle school and high school students.  The students at this school don’t just come from Uganda they also come from Tanzania, South Sudan, and Rwanda. Throughout our time at the school, we were treated like royalty. As we got off the bus students lead us to an assembly by performing a cultural dance. Faculty and students from the school kept coming up to us and thanking us for our contribution.  We started off our day with an assembly presented by the school’s teachers. At the assembly, the teachers talked about the challenges the school faces. One major challenge is that they don’t have enough computers for the students. Since electricity is an issue the power on the computer can be faulty and the Internet does not work. Another challenge the school faces is that it is very expensive to run and many kids end up dropping out. Throughout the day we did different activities with the students. Towards the end of the day, I got the opportunity to play games with a bunch of the girl students. The girls taught me games they like to play and I taught them games I used to play when I was in school. Playing with these students has probably been the highlight of my trip so far. All of the students were so bright and full of energy. Saying goodbye to those girls has been the hardest part of my trip. 

Based on what we experienced today, how do students view their education?

What role does technology in schools play in sustainable development?

11 comments:

  1. Great post Sophie! :) I had a great time getting to know the students at City Secondary School as well. It seemed to me that a lot of the students really valued their education. One girl told me that she wanted to go to school to become a lawyer so she can support herself and not rely on a husband. I was impressed by the students' awareness of the importance of education. In response to your second question, I think technology is important for sustainable development because it teaches students important skills that they can use in future jobs. Economic growth would likely occur when a country's workforce becomes more skilled, especially within the growing industry of technology. This reminds me of when Mr. Patrick Bitature mentioned the importance of having a skilled workforce to promote economic growth and how he recommended Uganda focus on this issue.

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  2. Thank you for the summary of our visit, Sophie! In my understanding and experience of talking with the students, they are similar to students in the United States because some naturally enjoy school more than others but most realize it is a part of their life whether they like it or not. Because Uganda is a developing country, leaders know that education is a keystone to further development and stress this understanding to children. After visiting both a primary and secondary school, it is evident that technology and stable electricity are useful for primary education but vital for secondary education. In order to be prepared for university, students must have a basic understanding of technology, which is a reason why City Secondary voiced their needs to us often.

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  3. Thank you for the fantastic and informative post Sophie! I really appreciate your insights! Going to City Secondary was a cool opportunity and I really enjoyed getting to interact and talk to the students there. My table sat at lunch for a long time and just talked and the girls asked so many questions; they were so curious. Their questions were interesting as some of them had so many misconceptions about what being American was like, for example, they asked why there were no poor people in America. In regards to your question about technology, I think that it is very important for sustainable development. I think students need to be able to interact and know how to navigate the quickly advancing technological world in order to create and have jobs and support their future selves and families, so that their future families will then be able to get a quality education and thus a good job to support their families.

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  4. This is an awesome summary of the visit Sophie! As far as how the students view their education, when I was talking to students they seemed to enjoy going to school and learning because they know it will lead them to a bright future. Student engagement is key to a sustainable culture because educated citizens leads to innovative thinkers and capable minds that can foster economic development, while being socially inclusive and environmentally conscious.

    Technology plays a very key role in fostering education, especially in this day and age. It allows students to a vast amount of knowledge as well as helps them learn technological skills that will keep them up-to-date with skills needed for the job market. So, since it has such an important impact on education and education has such a huge impact on sustainable development, technology has a huge impact on sustainable development.

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  5. Hey Sophie, this is awesome! That visit to City Secondary was informational for sure! I found it super interesting as well how they are attracting students from all over to come to school there! The assembly was also a great way to witness their culture.

    You bring up some really interesting points about the challenges the school is facing technologically and how technology is starting to play such a vital role in the classroom! Textbooks are all going digital and basic computer skills are expected when entering the business profession. This is a major issue because these students are coming from all over to get the best education possible but are leaving unprepared for the future!

    All around was very fascinating to compare the school to our education system in the States! Thanks for the great questions!

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  6. Great insight, Sophie. I believe the students at City Secondary, as well as Sure Prospects, really value their education. At Sure Prospects we got to observe children in the classroom which really highlighted to me how serious they take their education and how appreciative they are to be able to attend school. The children at Sure Prospects were very focused, even though we were interrupting their classs, and did not stop writing notes or working just because we were there. In the modern world technology is coming to play a larger and larger role in classrooms. Research can be conducted more effectively, more/other perspectives can be seen, and it provides access to a plethora of information. That being said, I don't think technology is absolutely essential. Before our generation, many schools had no computers or other technology, yet our parents and grandparents are still very smart and informed. I believe the real value of education lies within the teacher. If the teacher can be innovative and resourceful, he or she can teach the students everything they need to know without technology. Technology makes things easier but I believe the quality of the teacher is more sustainable.

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  7. I had the opportunity to interview some teachers and the headmaster of the school. Through those interviews, I learned that going to school at city secondary is a very involved process. It's very expensive to go there and the students live on campus. What I gathered from that is that education must be important to the students there because its a large investment of time and money. I also got the same feeling from the students I spoke to. As far as technology is concerned, in order to achieve the best possible education access to at least computers and internet are important. So much of the learning in the U.S. is done with those things, so once they can get that they'll be on a good path to quality education.

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  8. Wonderful summary of the experience we had at City Secondary Sophie. You explained exactly how they treated us on that day. I don't know if it was just my feeling but I felt that they were thanking us for the wrong reasons completely. They repeatedly told us that they had 30 computers we gave them, but that another room of computers would help them more. They also kept hinting that we needed to get them solar panels and a router, instead of thanking us for what we did get them and show us that they appreciated the gift they already had. I just felt they were only begging for more things without showing how much they appreciated it.

    Your question about sustainable development and technology is what I have been pondering since we visited City Secondary. Technology is an integral part of current society and the level of development to which they can achieve. I believe that in order for a society to become sustainable they need to have basic understanding of how to use technology and Uganda is just beginning to understand its importance. Efficient businesses in today’s global market place needs to incorporate technology to keep up with productivity and business trends. In order for a society to become sustainable is to allow its citizens to have access to technology training so they can become competitive in the market and are not forced into their day to day mentality of business. Some examples of this that we witnessed in Uganda include the open air markets and boda boda industries which are very cyclical and restrictive industries for the people.

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  9. From what I heard from the students, they genuinely enjoy going to school and learning. This is somewhat disheartening because we have learned in the past about how few students actually make it to university level due to financial, environmental, or other factors. I hope that the students we talked to will make it into the next level of school and continue their learning since they seemed so passionate about it.

    I also think technology is a great way to improve student learning! One of the men we talked to discussed fundraising for solar panels in order to power the computers, and I think this would be a great idea! Uganda is sunny year round, and the panels are environmentally friendly, so I think it would be a great investment. Fundraising in solar panels might be a great idea for a future project! I think that the computers have increased the quality of education at City Secondary, and so I think implementing more technology would be beneficial.

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  10. After experiencing City Secondary School, I think it is safe to say that the Ugandan students really value the opportunity of an education. All of the students seemed to be so passionate about their academics, and it was inspiring to hear how hard working some of them were.

    Technology plays a huge role in sustainable development in the schools. Not only is it now a part of the Ugandan national curriculum requirements, but it also teaches valuable vocational skills to those students that won't be continuing on to a college or university. Even for those who will, it provides valuable competencies as the world continuously becomes more and more digitized. Taking these things into consideration, technology in the schools plays a large role in sustainable development. It leads to work opportunities in companies that need people familiar with the use of computers, and in that way contributes to the creation of jobs for students not moving on to university.

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  11. Thank you for sharing such great information. can you help me in finding out more detail on schools in sector57 gurgaon

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