Janice is 18 years old and is a boarding student at Otwal Secondary School in Northern Uganda. She is playing a leading role in advocating for ICT classes in the school.
Following her parent’s separation, she has stayed with her aunt, who is a farmer and supporting her in school. Initially she had started her secondary education in Lira, but while she had a bursary, the school kept increasing her contribution until she could no longer afford the fees. After missing a term she joined Otwal Secondary in the second term of senior 2 and is struggling to catch up on the work missed.
Before November 2014, Janice used to hear about computers but had never had the chance to use one. She felt too shy to talk to teachers about this. In November 2014, she attended AET’s trial ICT boot camp and career guidance design forum. Over three days, she was introduced to Word and PowerPoint and got to learn about different career options. From this her interest in ICT developed and she went to a local computer centre to get some additional training in the school holidays.
On entering senior 3 in 2015, she was determined to learn ICT and pressured the teachers into timetabling ICT lessons. She has also become a keen member of the ICT club that AET help establish and was the first to volunteer to demonstrate her computer skills.
AET is also supporting the school to develop school businesses to raise funds for school development. From the skills she has learned, Janice has set up her own small business making snacks (bagia, chapatti) to sell at the weekends. She is using the money she earns to help cover her schools fees and help ensure she completes all 6 years of secondary school.
Next year she will be one of the first students in her school to sit ICT exams at S4. She hopes this will help her go on to become a Finance officer.