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Connect has striven to enhance acquisition and sharing of knowledge and information by students and teachers in Uganda through e-learning technologies in since 1995, signing MoUs with the Ministry of Education from 1997.
The demographics were such that only percent of the people had mains electricity, and except for a few donor-funded solar powered computer labs, schools without electricity had little access to e-learning. Most schools with power did not have computers, and fewer had Internet access; despite schools discounts by ISPs school budgets tended to prioritise more tangible assets.
UConnect addressed these issues by providing schools with refurbished quality computers, with a modicum of content, on a non-profit basis.
In 2008, when Sal Khan put UConnect in touch with the World Possible team of volunteers from Cisco who compiled the RACHEL Educational offline repository that included in one offline package Khan Academy, YouTubes, science and maths text books, offline Wikipedia, eBooks to name a few.
UConnect enthusiastically distributed RACHEL by sneakernet to schools in Uganda.
Schools with computers could now simply get a copy on USB to share with other schools under the Creative Commons license. UConnect spoke at relevant events about how students and teachers were benefiting from the rich offline learning content, including, supplying copies to educators, officials, NGO, aid agency managers from African countries, even copying to ministers’ laptops.
To reach out to teachers and head teachers UConnect has been providing them with low cost laptops preloaded with the most up to date Rachel Repository, GCFLearnfree, Allversity and Practical Action, vast libraries of resources on agriculture, food processing energy, construction, climate change, water resource and disaster management.
The teachers are shown how to use the content effectively, incorporating methodologies such as the flipped classroom, to increase the level of engagement between student, teacher and content. They are also encouraged to copy the repository for their colleagues, teachers from other schools, students and their parents.
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