MTN Uganda, through its corporate social responsibility wing, MTN Foundation, in collaboration with Sense International Uganda, has successfully implemented Digital Access Program at Ngora School for the Deaf in Ngora District, Eastern Uganda.

Ngora School for the Deaf, an esteemed institution and one of only three specialist schools in Uganda dedicated to the deaf, currently serves 101 pupils. This transformative initiative from MTN Uganda signifies a significant stride forward in digital inclusivity for students facing hearing challenges.

The newly established computer lab, valued at Shs 124 million, is a beacon of cutting-edge technology. It includes 10 computers, a projector, printer, sound amplifiers, power backup, and a dedicated maintenance plan for one year.

The lab is not just equipped with advanced hardware but is also tailored with specialized software designed to address the unique needs of deaf learners. This approach ensures an inclusive and accessible educational environment, catering to the diverse needs of learners in the community.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, Onapito Ekomoloit, Board of Trustees for MTN Uganda Foundation, said the new computer aligns with the company’s Ambition 2025 Strategy that seeks to bridge digital gender gap, promote youth empowerment, and contribute to Uganda’s National Development Plan II and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“We, at MTN Uganda, firmly believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected world, and this initiative stands as a testament to our commitment to meeting this aspiration,” he said.

 “We strongly believe that the future now lies in digitalization to improve people’s lives and help countries achieve faster economic transformations.”

The urgency of such initiatives is underscored by World Bank statistics, revealing that Uganda has the youngest age structure globally, with 77 percent of its population under the age of 30. Simultaneously, youth unemployment in the country stands at a staggering 64% to 70%, with up to 400,000 young people entering the job market annually for a mere 9,000 jobs.

Gerald Othieno, the Senior Education Officer, Special Needs Education at the Ministry of Education and Education, who was the chief guest extended heartfelt congratulations to MTN Uganda for its substantial contribution to youth empowerment through digital skilling.

“This initiative is a beacon of hope, a catalyst for change, and a commitment to uplifting the digital skills of our youth – the architects of our future,” he said.

Charles Ekadit, the headmaster at the Ngora School for the Deaf thanked MTN Uganda for the computer lab saying it will help equip learners with the much-needed skills to thrive in this digital age.

MTN Foundation is proud to extend its commitment to digital empowerment beyond Ngora School for the Deaf. The Digital Access Program also includes the setup of specialized computer labs in four other schools supporting inclusive education or catering to special needs.

The entire program, estimated to cost Shs 800 million, is a testament to MTN’s dedication to the development of the country and a vision for a more inclusive and digitally empowered future. Other schools benefitting from this initiative includes Salaama School for the Blind, Masaka School for the Deaf, Hornby High School Kabale, and Gulu High School.

Over the years, MTN Uganda’s longstanding commitment to ICT in education is evident through its leadership in supporting over 42 ICT labs in various educational institutions countrywide.

Notable among these are six technical institutes, including Amelo Technical Institute in Adjumani District, St. Simon Peter’s Vocational Training Centre in Hoima District, and St. Daniel Comboni Polytechnic in Moroto District.

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