After three days of the National Curriculum Development Centre asking the Ministry of Education to allow students to use smartphones to access study material, the Ministry yesterday consented to the request.
According to a local newspaper, the State Minister for Higher Education Chrysostom Muyingo permitted schools to allow learners to use smartphones for academic research as the Government assembled a policy into place.
Furthermore, the National Chairperson for Secondary Schools Headteacher’s Association Martin Okiria suggested that the policy needs to be consented to by school administrators such that its implementation isn't abused or fails its intended purpose.
The Fatboy Show Presenter Olive Najjuma said that the cracks in implementing this policy were already visible because initially the request was meant to address students undertaking the new curriculum but now it seems the plan is to incorporate all learners in secondary School.
She further said, “Picture this, we already have schools that are conducting classes under trees in some parts of the country. And if you're allowing gadgets, are you thinking about all the children in the country or you are focusing on the ones in urban centres with the belief that all of the others can afford them?”
Fatboy added that allowing learners to use smartphones in school might make the Ministry rely more on the internet to disseminate information thus leaving behind students unable to afford them.
Being a parent, Olive further reasoned that the burden of internet costs is most probably going to fall on the parents, in addition to other school dues. However, she was thankful for the step towards adopting e-learning saying that the world already went digital. “We are a bit even late, I just hope that this is handled the right way so that children really benefit from this,” she said.
Additionally, Fatboy proposed that schools will have to block access to internet applications such as Snapchat and Tik Tok if they are to maintain the attention of students in class.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.