In the summer I had the opportunity of conducting internship in the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) in Uganda from August 23rd to October 6th, 2014. I was attached to the Statistics, Monitoring and Evaluation (SME) division under the Education Planning and Policy Analysis (EPPA) Department. My objectives for the internship were to collect data that can help me successfully complete my academic research and to gain work environment/ office experience in the context of a national organization like MoES.
During the internship, my supervisor was Mr. Joseph Eilor, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of SME division. For the first week I worked with the SME division, however, I was re-assigned to the National Curriculum Development Centre（NCDC）, where I worked for one week. The NCDC is a semi-autonomous body of the Ministry of Education and Sports charged with the mandate of developing curricula and related materials for various levels of education, organizing capacity building courses for stakeholders on curricula and matters related to curriculum.
At the end of the three weeks in NCDC, I returned to the SME division where I worked for the remainder of the internship period. In the course of my internship, I had two main activities and these are explained in detail below.
First and foremost I learned about e-Learning project that MoES and Cyber-School have been conducting for the last 10 years. In addition I attended the annual Education and Sports Sector Review (ESSR), where I worked as a secretary. This activity helped me experience and understand work environment and ethics in a government institution in Uganda.
Secondly, I collected data relevant to my research field, which is ICT as a Pedagogical tool for Teaching Science subjects in Uganda’s Secondary Education. I was able to get secondary data on learning achievement from the Education Management Information System (EMIS) and primary data through interviewing about 50 students from one Cyber-School. In addition I reviewed Uganda’s ICT education policy reports. Through this activity, I learnt how to design a good questionnaire and how to conduct interviews.
Overall, this internship, afforded me the opportunity of discussing with MoES officers, World Bank officers and UNICEF staffs about Uganda’s education problems as well as my research topics; “Assessing ICT as a Pedagogical Tool for teaching Science in Secondary Schools in Uganda.” I was able to gain a clear vision and direction for my research through these discussions. I received valuable advice from the commissioner ICT, Cyber-School manager and ESSR organizing team/officers. Moreover, I learned three key points on how to conduct quality research namely; the need to build a wide network, the need to know the local environment and the need for a positive attitude towards the local environment.
Lastly, I would like to express my appreciation to my academic advisor, Prof. Keiichi Ogawa, who offered me this precious opportunity. In addition, I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor during the internship, Mr. Joseph Eilor as well as Mr. Emmanuel Mugabi and all MoES officers who helped me during my stay in Uganda.