How does the use of blackboards (slates) work?
Where previously the pupils would sit and watch the teacher write on one large blackboard at the front of the class, they can now fully participate in the lesson, working singly and in pairs to write and record in all subjects. This level of participation is adding greatly to the enjoyment of learning by the pupils, and where it has been fully adopted in schools, is already giving evidence that they can learn faster.
Opportunities open to the teacher to check what pupils have done by simply saying ‘one two three show me’ provide much more immediate feedback than the laborious checking of exercise books, even where exercise books exist. In many schools these are a luxury few pupils can afford.
Why is this initiative so important in Uganda?
The Ugandan government has been determined to make education its highest priority. This decision is based on the knowledge that the skills of its people are its most valuable resource, especially in an age of great technological and social development. A simple idea such as the use of individual blackboards (slates) which is both low cost and can revolutionise the learning in the primary classroom, and which is based on fully evaluated and proven experience in the UK, is, we believe, going to have a major part to play in the government’s plans for education.
How will funds raised by Education Uganda be spent ?
In order to further this initiative, Education Uganda is now seeking further funding of £150,000 over the next three years. This will enable the charity to continue to fund a coordinating team of Ugandan educators working directly with schools, so that the use of individual blackboards can spread from the original four schools to all 420 schools in the Kasese school district. During this period 100,000 slates will be supplied to these schools. The funds will also allow training to be extended to teacher training colleges to reach trainers and teachers in training. Further planned activities include the production of a training DVD and the organisation of a major dissemination conference of the work.