First of all great work to the people that came up with the curriculum for ICT in primary and secondary schools in Uganda, so we have computers in most our schools and we endeavor to teach the whole curriculum with in the term, when students sit exams they excel, but when it comes to every day practice they are terrible and don’t seem to know what they are doing. Most of these children do not have computers at home, so what they learn from class during class time is all they ever get to learn. Go cram for tests and exams and pass! Teachers concentrate on getting that knowledge (curriculum) into these little heads and care less about sparking a passion in these girls, to enjoy the class, develop a love for computing and then excel at it!
I believe that if we change the approach instead of trying to get them to learn what we want them to learn, we start with getting them to love the subject, then we introduce the serious stuff, if computers are not enough as is the case most of the time, take longer periods to teach say, every Friday is computer day, if there are 20 computers and the class is 80, those are 4 periods in a day for 20 students to have a chance at a computer ALONE. I think if we gave them a chance to play and work, we might achieve better results and have more girls taking science courses, not this is not for only girls but it affects boys too. There are free periods encourage children to use these times to come to the computer lab and play games on the computers, then when they have love for the games, introduce a routine of work then play i.e. an exercise before you play, and because the child knows at the end of this exercise I will have a chance to play they will gladly take the exercise. Not many students will just walk into the lab to come play games so how do we get them there in the first place, after every lesson spare 20-30 mins before the end of the lesson and tell them they can play a game, even teach them to play it, and tell them during free time they are welcome to play, ask who would like to come back and play, give them time when they can come (you don’t want the whole class coming at the same time) engage them in fun activities, make learning fun, bring in educative games like word games, numbers games, and sometimes just games. Some few schools I believe already do this but most schools do not because I have been through this system. Sometimes to help those that are not catching on well, as a teacher pair them with another that is doing well and tell the good student that its their project to make the other one understand what you just taught, some little ones get frustrated when others are catching on and they are not which makes them loose interest.
Now this problem also starts with the teachers, whether they are happy or not, motivated or not, most teachers are NOT motivated and passively teach with little care who is catching on and who is not, now this is a bigger problem that I will not get into BUT if we want better results in our schools, more girls taking onto computing we need to change the way we have been doing things and concentrate on who to get them to like the subject, then teaching them!
SO MY POINT GET THEM INTERESTED FIRST, THEN TEACH THEM!
What do you think? lets build ideas together