Vocational education in the Albertine region has received a major boost following the handover of a fully furnished ICT laboratory to Millennium Business School today. The facility jointly established by MTN Uganda and Enabel is aimed at facilitating ICT-enhanced learning.
Enabel Resident Representative Tom Vanneste says that given the importance of ICT skills in today’s world of work, the laboratory will play a key role in preparing young people for employment.
“ICT in education has been reduced to learning basic ICT skills, including word processing and working with spreadsheets. To bring vocational education into the 21st century, ICT will need to find its way into the workshops e.g. by utilizing car diagnostics apps for motor vehicle maintenance in the practical instruction workshops,” Vanneste says.
He however reveals that many vocational training institutes lack adequate computers, trained ICT staff, and ICT content and programmes.
To address the challenge, MTN Uganda provided computers and servers. It also supported the production of audio-visual learning teaching and learning content. MTN will additionally provide Millennium Business School internet for at least one year.
“The internet is full of relevant online Open Educational Resources that could help to boost technical and vocational training and keep learning up to date with the latest technology,” Vanneste says.
This is the second phase of the partnership between MTN and Enabel. In the initial phase, the Belgian development agency worked with the telecommunications provider to establish similar ICT laboratories at Amelo Technical Institute (Adjumani), St. Simon Peter’s Vocational Training Centre (Hoima), and St. Daniel Comboni Polytechnic (Moroto).
This second phase targets another set of three institutions including Millennium Business School. Other beneficiary institutions include; Uganda Technical College Kyema and Kasese Youth Polytechnic.
“MTN Uganda is intently committed to delivering the benefits of a modern connected world to everyone. We believe in creating leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress and accelerating the achievement of this vision through strategic partnerships such as the one with Enabel ” said the Senior Manager MTN Uganda Foundation, Bryan Mbasa.
Enabel through the Support to Skilling Uganda project is upgrading the institutions receiving the ICT support to Centres of Vocational Excellence through various initiatives including integration of ICT in teaching and learning, infrastructure development, private sector-led vocational training, etc.