Regular readers may remember the computer system we installed for Children of Grace. I had high hopes for this installation. It survived a year and looked brand new. However, I was disappointed that I hadn’t heard anything from COG since the installation. I assumed the systems weren’t being used. When I ran into co-founder Mike McCoy, he informed me that the systems were being used.. a LOT. He agreed to send me some photos and a blurb. His wife MaryAnn McCoy responded with this amazing story. This made the effort SO worthwhile.
Last January, the Uganda Minister of Education and Sports announced that all students enrolled in Senior 5 and Senior 6 are required to take computer classes or sub math to graduate from high school.
Now this doesn’t seem like such a big deal in the US as most all students are proficient in computers by elementary age. However, in Uganda, this is a totally different story. Very few students are given the opportunity to even touch a computer let alone sit in a working computer lab learning what a computer has to offer.
Thanks to Hackers for Charity, Children of Grace enrolled 12 of our most promising students in a holiday computer program that taught the basics of Microsoft Office. In addition to the basics, they discovered the many Rachael Programs that had been downloaded by Hackers to enrich their math and science education. This software has not only improved the student’s test scores but has helped students become the top performers in their class.
One young man, Umaru, a Senior 5 student, had never touched a computer until he enrolled in the Children of Grace holiday program. Umaru, a very bright hardworking student, strives to become a civil engineer. He failed his first term computer class because of no hands on experience. There are often eight students assigned to one computer and usually one student commands the computer and others stand and watch. In addition, because teachers have not been trained in computers, the computer classes are highly structured not allowing the students to venture out on their own.
After enrolling in first term computer classes at Children of Grace, Umaru’s end of term computer results advanced from an F to an A. With the addition of that score, Umaru now ranks as the top student in his class of 212 students. In addition to learning computers, Umaru now qualifies for a bursary that will pay all of his tuition and boarding fees.
We, at Children of Grace, are very proud of Umaru. We are also very thankful to Hackers for Charity. With their contribution of a network server, five terminals, keyboards, headsets and software, Hackers is not only giving our students the opportunity to excel in computers but is also giving students the computer skills they will need to compete in our global world.