|Implementing organisations||Stichting EIFL.net (EIFL) – National Library of Uganda (NLU) – Maendeleo Foundation – Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) – 24 public and community libraries|
|Period of implementation||12/2020 – 03/2023|
|Digital tools||Digital skills|
|Sector||Education – Training|
|Contribution to SDGs|
What is the project aiming to achieve?
Currently less than half (48%) of Uganda population is using Internet and according to Uganda Communications Commission, key barriers are lack of digital literacy, lack of access devices, cost of access and lack of awareness. In response to such situation, proving digital skills training, along with appropriate infrastructure and professional help is one of key factors to bridge digital divide.
Over 78% of Uganda population are youth below the age of 30. Given that about 400,000 youths are released annually into the job market to compete for 9,000 available jobs in the country (according to a study by the University of Makerere) there is high competition to the jobs available and they must enhance their ICT skills and must be able to shift from theoretical learning to practical application to be more employable.
At the same time women are often engaged in activities that support their families, and ICT skills can help them to learn new things, enabling them to participate in civil society using adequate digital tools.
The project aims to build a nation-wide network of established institutions – public and community libraries – offering affordable digital literacy training with trained librarians and access to a platform of free online classes.
The project is approaching above described issues from three perspectives: 1) raising public awareness of availability of no charge or affordable internet access in public and community libraries; 2) skilling librarians to become effective trainers and providing meaningful digital skills training; 3) linking people with beneficial online content and learning opportunities as well as offering them attractive community-based learning model.
P2PU approaches each new project through the values of peer learning, community, and equity, providing a unique perspective on the ways in which digital training can address inequality in education, employment, and society at large.
While there is great promise for online learning, the vast majority of opportunities available today benefit those who are already empowered to seek out additional learning opportunities. To address this, P2PU developed a model community-based education called learning circles. Learning circles comprise 5-25 people who meet weekly in a library or community center to work through an online course together over the course of several weeks. The model has been developed explicitly to reach those who stand to gain the most, but have been traditionally left out from online learning including adults working towards a degree, out of school youth, and recent graduates who are looking for work.
The P2PU digital platform has two primary user groups: facilitators (i.e. Ugandan librarians or library volunteers) and participants (i.e. Ugandan learners). The digital journey for learning circles begins with facilitators, who participate in facilitator workshop and engage in the P2PU community of practice, a virtual space comprising asynchronous events, discussions, and online community fora designed to help educators around the world share best practices with one another. Within the community of practice, facilitators interact with the facilitation resources and online courses required to facilitate a successful learning circle. By participating in both an in-person training and an online community of practice, each facilitator will gain both a practical understanding of implementing learning circles and a useful contextualization of learning circles to the Ugandan context.