During An Anxio Mina’s working with research associate Daniel Nanghaka, time in Uganda – An spent approximately two and a half weeks total in northern Uganda at Aber Youth Center taking closer looks at different models for engaging youth with technology.
The Training of Trainers (TOT) model is a commonly-applied one in youth centers in Uganda. Basing on a focused group of 20 youth and 5 trainers; and each trainer training 4 youth around a single laptop or computer. This TOT model had a lot of potential for a more ground-up system, co-designed with the youth. In addition to training their peers, youth leaders taking feedback from them and communicating the feedback Lead Trainers. This was based on the fact that the youth felt more confident in their work and enhances active leadership role.
This method is one of the key methodologies that is going to be implemented by the Training of the youth in other rural areas of Uganda with a development taking place at Ignite Africa in Bududa, the Ignite Hub looks forward to bring youth to discover the strength and potential of ICT. Daniel Nanghaka being a research Associate is looking forward to implementing this method to enhance the capacity of ICT in various rural areas of Africa looking at the successive implementation of the Aber Youth Centre. It was discovered the youth come from as far as Atura and come to Aber town a distance of over 10km looking for computer facilities to be able to interact with the computer – by this there is a need to set up an access point that the youth can come to such that they can be able to use the internet.
Overcoming Language Barriers
“As Daniel spoke the local language of Aber, he was able to facilitate more engaged trainings with the youth. However, I noticed that youth still struggled with the operating system, as they have limited literacy with the English language. Until local language solutions can be developed, it is ideal to have a bilingual trainer. Youth have enough facility with English that they can understand prompts such as “Name”, “Message” and “Subject” (such as for email) with a slight nudge from a local language speaker.
Overall, however, more time is needed to foster computer literacy. In addition to language barriers, basic skills such as typing, navigating UIs and understanding simple processes like closing a window require time and practice. I experimented with a paper model to help youth practice without a computer, but real time at the computer is the best solution.” An Anxio Mina
Ignite Africa looks to extend the ability of the youth to be able to use appropriate ICT technologies and will be trained to use Open Source Software for example Ubuntu Operating System to reduce the cost of licensing and using pirated Software. Furthermore, adopt to the growing strength and use of the Internet, the youth will be trained using Web 2.0 technologies and Social media – this enhances there skills as they will be adopting the quick collaborative and communicating methods.
Hardware and Space
To ensure that there is constant technology, the Ignite Hub will provide a subsidized computer set a clone of the computer hardware in that was donated to Aber by UNICEF and a stable internet connection as a requirement to enhance usage. These will be monitored based on the Training that will be taking place at the Ignite Hub.
An mentions “… computers remain designed for one person to use, and only three people–the main user and two people standing next to that person–can actually see the screen clearly. The rest were relegated to looking over someone’s shoulder or just listening without being able to see the screen…”
Ignite Africa looks forward strongly at bridging the digital divide and rural accessibility of the Internet. The implementation plan is currently being design and will be shared for those who are willing to be part of the goal to achieve a stable digital divide.
Some parts of this extract were got from Field Notes – Optimizing Technology in Rural Areas of Uganda written by An Axio Mina, and Daniel Nanghaka, founder of Ignite Africa was the Research Associate