Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friday April 15,2011

Today, we set out to meet SOMEONE at the Ministry of Education. We went without an appointment because I have been trying as far back as I can remember to get a name and a contact to no avail. So after, a day Tuesday at the local commissioner's office, where we learned that the place to be was in the Ministry of Education, we decided to go into the center of Kampala to the head office. We missed the Commissioner of Pre-Primary and Primary Education , Dr. Daniel Nkaada, because he was at a meeting and a late lunch, but were able to meet with the Assistant Commissioner of Instructor/Tutor Education, Dr. Jane Egau Okou, who received us warmly. She loved the laptop project, called it perfect and really educated me further on how the whole system operates. apparently, Primary School Teachers are educated at institutes but the curriculum is created at only one university. Kyambogo University (pronounce Chambogo). She indicated that the person to contact is Mr. Bakaira, gave me his phone number and I asked that she contact him for an introduction through email. At least I got to the right place finally. This Ministry of Education oversees the entire network of schools. Dr. Jane would like to see the Memorandum of Understanding so she may further research the status of the OLPC project.

The irony of this trip was that Kyambogo University was on the grounds of the local commissioner's office where we were on Tuesday! But I am happy because I now have at least 2 email addresses with which to pursue my mission. This is my last day- so what else is new.

In the afternoon, I had an appointment with Makerere University Dean of Education and David. We had communicated by email previously. This is my contact at Makerere where we left two laptops last year. Another colleague was supposed to come but couldn't make it. It appears that there was a strike by students at Makerere protesting the hike in tuition. So far, everyday has been impacted by demonstrations and strikes. I guess it is just my luck. We discussed the project. Kenneth, my buddy from Silver Shadows Technology with whom I have had a strong relationship, accompanied us. He was my go-between during our grant writing process. I explained the project to the Dean, Dr. Connie Msembe, and David, and they were anxious to collaborate with Kampala University at the school where we placed the 15 computers. I also informed them of the 80 XOs I located at Old Kampala Primary School whose teachers needed training. So I said I would again contact the head master with an introduction to Makerere and Kenneth and some Makerere Students would be able to provide instruction on the use of the XOs as well as visit the Jinja Campus to see the ones I left.


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