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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Digital literacy and teacher education in Uganda : the case of Bondo Primary Teachers' College (PTC) Andema, Samuel


Claims about the potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to transform education in the less developed countries of the world abound. This qualitative case study, which took place at Bondo (pseudonym) Primary Teachers’ College (PTC) in Uganda, from April to December 2008, was guided by two specific research questions, (1) What is the relationship between ICT policy and educational practice in Uganda? (2) To what extent do teacher educators use ICT in their professional practice and what challenges do they face in developing digital literacy? To address question one, the researcher did a content analysis of the National ICT policies and held a key informant interview with the ICT minister in Uganda. In order to address question two, the researcher drew on data collected from a sample of six teacher educators using questionnaires, focus group discussions, online group discussions, and journal reflections. The study found that at policy level, Uganda has made significant progress in systematizing the integration of ICT in education. The introduction of ICT training programs in PTCs has received positive response from the teacher educators, who are eager to use ICT in their professional practice and to develop their digital literacy skills. However, the study established that the teacher educators only use ICT in their professional practice to a limited extent, due to factors such as limited Internet access points at the PTC and in their communities. Other challenges include inadequate training and lack of support for professional development, cultural constraints, and irrelevant materials from the Internet. Another major concern is that ICT initiatives in Uganda are geared more towards accessing global information than using ICT for knowledge production and wealth creation. It also emerged that ICT is still being used to perpetuate teacher-centered, examination-oriented, information-based teaching and learning in PTCs. The study concludes with a recommendation for more qualitative case studies on the possibility of incorporating ICT programs such as the e-Granary Digital Library, which do not rely on connectivity, as a basis for ICT and digital literacy skills development.

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