Computers are slowly becoming common features in schools in Uganda. However, their impact on education is so far less than what could be expected from such powerful technology.
The use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT’s) in education, while being highly desirable from a number of standpoints, has never been an essential component of schooling. For this reason, the level of usage of ICTs has tended to vary from one school to the next.
There are many forms of computer applications in schools and computers are becoming powerful tools in the education setting. Despite this, recent research highlights teachers’ lack of skills and expertise with the new technologies as being the biggest deterrent.
ICT skills are increasingly becoming an important part of the general literacy skills of all teachers.
Teachers today need to be able to use computers and computer technologies effectively as a means of personal productivity, teaching tool and development of learners’ ICT skills.
But teacher education has been slow to respond to the technology changes in schools.
The need for all teachers to have ICT skills of some form cannot be overemphasised. Innovations in education are frequently avoided by the mainstream if current methodologies appear to be serving their purposes and there is no need for change.
Although there are growing pressures for teachers to embrace ICTs in classroom teaching, there is no mandated or specific need and this accounts for the reluctance and resistance on the part of teachers to change from traditional instructional processes with which they are familiar and comfortable with.
Technology is advancing rapidly. In such fields as multimedia and telecommunications, we can see many new products and services emerging with direct application in schools.
If we can graduate teachers who are familiar with the technologies to the point that they can plan, implement and evaluate instruction with them, we will be some way along the path to success.
There is a need to integrate computer technologies into teacher education programmes rather than to include ICT courses as independent entities.