The Corona Virus has presented the most challenging period and disaster to the education sector in Uganda. As secondary schools were struggling with understanding the implementation of the new curriculum reform, as parents were struggling to pay the second fees bankslips and schools were excited to welcome them on visitation days, the government decided to close all schools. All teachers are at home waiting for the government decision on the next step. Those in private schools are more affected than those government-aided Schools, at least pocket-wise.
While at home, we are watching a number of teachers teaching through social media and television. Stations like BBS Telefiyina , NTV Simply Learn, Urban TV, Bukedde among others including international Televisions are relaying lessons live to learners in their sitting rooms. Most lessons are almost teacher-centred with less learner engagement. Those who are using pictures and different videos are not bothered about effective learning. For some tutorials, there is a danger of over-emphasis on the image over content, presentation over substance and entertainment over learning.
Much as the National Curriculum Development Centre is advocating for learner centred teaching approaches, teachers continue to lecture even in lessons where engagement using pictures and videos would have worked. Even the learners do not answer directly to the teacher, they should asked questions to let them think and think more. The best way of using pictures in an online lesson to create learner engagement is by use of the 3-Act Lesson approach.
Here is the video of NCDC advocacy for learner engagement in Secondary Schools.
As KAWA, we are focusing on supporting teachers in understanding the power of multimedia in teaching abstract and rare concepts in class. We are therefore emphasizing the following:
- Teachers and students must know how to gather and present multimedia information.
- Assessment criteria must be made clear for multimedia projects (particularly if they are group projects).
- Teachers and students must be clear on the kinds of information that are best handled with multimedia, and the forms of visual display.
- The limits and disadvantages of multimedia usage must be understood, together with the added cognitive and pedagogical benefits brought about by visual or auditory inputs over textual material.
- Teachers and students must be clear how the main messages of the multimedia are being conveyed (through text, through visual channels and through auditory channels).
- Teachers and students must know how the pictures, text and sound interact to make meaning.
- Students must be actively involved in multimedia creations, preferably as a group activity, with appropriate levels of challenge.
Appropriate higher-order skills must be assured in students.
Students must understand the difference between linear and branching programs.
- Teachers will need to accept that multimedia writing by students is time-consuming but that the results are usually worth it.
Judicious use of multimedia is required, in order to avoid converting every project to a multimedia project.