Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) has continued to closely support the implementation of the Technovation Challenge activities within Uganda and all the network partners. This year, the Technovation outreach exercise started on Sunday April 2nd, 2017 when the teams set off from Kampala to different parts of the country. This community engagement exercise had been scheduled for 7 days .The Secondary schools to be visited are located in the North, East and Western regions of Uganda .Each region was headed by a RAN staff and supported by the technovation trainers some of who are from the target schools .The main aim of this outreach exercise was to reach out to the young girls in different secondary schools and train them in different science, innovation and technology skills ,equipping them with expertise and knowledge of developing mobile applications to respond to different community challenges where they live but also in preparation for the National and Global Technovation Challenge.
The Objectives of the outreach exercise were to;
- Train the teams in different schools on the Human centered Design Approach guiding them on how to conceive, develop and nurture best innovative solutions to communities’ most pressing challenges,
- Offer training on MIT APP INVENTOR-a software which these females can use to develop the mobile applications,
- Train the girls in how to effectively Pitch their solutions while helping them to further polish their presentational skills. It is during these engagements when these young ladies are trained to pitch their ideas or innovative solutions in four or less minutes and
- Help the girls register for the National Technovation challenge.
The team which engaged 234 students in Western Uganda was led by Ms. Rebecca Koburungi and the schools visited were spread in 6 districts of Nyaka Vocational School in Kanungu District, Rubaare Senior Secondary School in Ntungamo, Bishop Kivengere Girls School in Kabale District, Kibubura Girls School in Ibanda District, Bweranyangi Girls School in Bushenyi and Maryhill High School in Mbarara.
It is also exciting to note that the team which was in the Eastern part of Uganda engaged 226 girls. Ms. Loyce Twongeirwe led this team and they visited Tororo Town Academy, Rock High School, Tororo Girls School, Busitema University, PMM Girls School, Jinja Secondary School, St Noa Mawagali Secondary School and Wanyange Girls School.
In Northern Uganda, Mr. Brian Ndyaguma, Lead Innovation Scaling at RAN led the team. While in the North a total of 102 school girls were engaged in Ikwera Girls Secondary School, Lira Town College, Mentor Secondary School, Lira University, All Saints University, Otino Waa High School, Gulu High School, Gulu Senior Secondary School, Gulu College and Oysters and Pearls Secondary School in Gulu District.
The central region under the leadership of Ms. Natasha Kassami, RAN Engagement Officer and Sheila Agaba, Uganda Technovation Challenge Focal Person was done over a longer period as the schools were engaged in different activities during the week stipulated for the activity. The school visited included; Gayaza High School, Nabisunsa Girls’ Secondary school, Makerere Modern Senior Secondary School, Trinity College Nabbingo, Mengo Secondary School, May Christian College, Nkumba University, Royal Giant Secondary School and Mityana Secondary School. The number of school girls was relative as some of these engagements included addressing the whole school at an assembly.
“With this guidance we have received during the pitching sessions and experience shared by the RAN trainers, we can now confidently compete nationally with the Kampala Schools”-said one Technovation Teacher at Bishop Kivengere Girls School in Kabale District;
The major challenges experienced during the outreach seemed to cut across all the three regions and they included, Inadequate computers for the hands on training in some of the schools, Poor and in most cases no reliable internet connectivity, lack of self-esteem in the students which directly hinders their ability to pitch and limited knowledge on how to use APP Inventor Software. The outreach team kept sharing and correlating these challenges and experiences in order to overcome the same for effectively implementation of the activity.
‘Girls for a Change’