The Corona Virus pandemic has largely affected the education sector as it led to school closure in most countries where cases were announced.Ministries of Education in affected countries devised various ways to keep learning going.
Teachers and students also found ways to ensure teaching and learning is taking place.Andrew Kichumisa, an STEM teacher at Nassoro Seif Secondary School in Morogoro Tanzania is one of those teachers.Mr. Kichumisa is among 400 teachers in Tanzania who have been trained through the African Digital Schools Initiative (ADSI ) which is implemented by GESCI and funded by Mastercard Foundation.ADSI is implemented in 40 secondary schools from Morogoro and Pwani Regions.
Due to the pandemic, Mr. Kichumisa is conducting live classes for students in candidate classes to ensure they are readily prepared fr national exams.He talks to us about his training in ADSI and how he runs the online lessons.
Q1: What pushed you to start conducting online live lessons?
A:What really inspired me to start this is the need to keep learning going.I have always wanted to reach out to students in more effective and reliable approaches.So when COVID19 was announced and schools closed, i set up an e-learning website where students could access notes and quizzes.I also started the live lessons.
Q2: How do you reach out to the students to ensure they are online at the time you start the live sessions?
A: I contact their parents and share the link to the session with them.The students also have Facebook accounts and they share the link online so other students outside Nassoro Seif manage to attend.
Q3: How do you create content for the various levels?
A: I teach across all topics but I focus more on candidates Form 2, Form 4 and Form 6.
Q4: Will you still do this post the pandemic?
A: I will still do it, maybe in a much bigger way.I have realized that technology makes teaching and learning so convenient.
Q5:What are the benefits of ADSI to you and the school?
A: ADSI laid a blue print for me.Learning 21st Century Skills and how I should impart them on my students pushed me to do what I am doing.Before I joined ADSI, my ICT skills were like a car without gas,or even a driver.
Q6:What are your recommendations to the Tanzanian Government and to the school to ensure ICT is really incorporated in education?
A:First I thank my school administration for the support they have accorded me.I also thank the Ministry of Education for opening doors for GESCI, this has brought light to the selected schools.For my school, I would request that they acquire more computers to accommodate the large student numbers.For the government, i wish that that they would incorporate ICT training for pre-service teachers.
GESCI is currently in the process of working with three teacher training colleges, Dakawa, Morogoro and Monduli in partnership with the Ministries Teacher Education Support Project.
The ADSI programme is also under implementation in 80 secondary schools in Kenya and 20 secondary schools in Cote d'Ivoire.
Watch Andrew's video interview here: bit.ly/3hILj1y