The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) last evening awarded over 30 primary and secondary school students that excelled in the recent essay writing competition.
The National Essay Writing Competition is part of the commemorative activities organised by UCC under its 20 year anniversary celebrations.
The celebrations which have been running since the start of the year will be climaxed today at a grand event at Speke Hotel Munyonyo.
This year’s essay was cantered on two key issues that are affecting ICT that is ICT and the Environment and Safe Internet Use.
The 30 students that were selected were invited to Kampala with their teachers and some parents for 4 days where they defended their essays and participated in a debating competition on ‘whether internet in schools should be regulated or not’.
All participating Students were awarded with certificates and while the winners per region were given trophies with UCC promising to pay schools fees for them for a year.
Speaking at the awarding ceremony, Godfrey Mutabazi, the Executive Director UCC said that the competition was aimed at awakening more students countrywide to have interest in ICT since it’s the future.
“As UCC, we value the young generation and have included this initiative as a way of nurturing interests in ICT right from an early stage. Such a competition also provide us with an opportunity to hear the views of the young people which helps in setting the future of communication in Uganda” he said
Mutabazi during his speech promised to provide computers to all teachers whose students had reached the finals.
“We aim at helping all schools in Uganda to have computers and Internet access. The infrastructure to support internet connections has been put in place by both public and private investments. Telecommunications companies have 3G internet covering the entire country so the question of internet access in rural areas has been solved. What we need to do is provide the hardware” he said.
He further cautioned parents on being the first Internet regulators of their children to ensure they don’t use it for wrong things like accessing porn or betting.
“The parents, who provide these students with phones and internet should be the first regulator; put passwords and allow children to only use Internet in your presence. You can also block any sites that are not fit for your children. We can’t expect police to come and do this simple work” he said.
The Director for Public and corporate affairs at UCC, Fred Otunnu noted that the event will be made annual with more activities added to give chance to more students to participate