Academic and curriculum developers attending the on-going FARA conference in Accra, Ghana have expressed interest in the integration of the Makerere University AFRISA-SPEDA educational model in their respective curricula. This follows a presentation by the Principal, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) Prof. John David Kabasa on special and innovative curricula and programs that Makerere University has developed. Prof. Kabasa also won an award from African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE). This was in recognition of curricula reforms that he has spearheaded at the College which support ANAFE’s agenda and service to the African continent.
Prof. Kabasa explained the efforts Makerere has made through partnerships to transform communities in Somaliland and the reforms that are required to establish transformative education in Africa using the AFRISA-SPEDA model.
He said the thrust is to graduate somebody who is a job creator or already has an enterprise, skills and is involved in production. “We normally nurture the student to learn competencies, develop a strategic and business plan. By the time the student graduates, (s)he is a certified producer and entrepreneur. In this, we are solving the problem of job creation and using higher education as a tool for supporting production. We are taking the university to the community and anchoring higher education directly in development,” Prof. Kabasa explained.
The model has been seen as a good example for thematic curricula that are aligned to industrial value chains, which is the current drive for the African Union. This has prompted participants to appreciate the model and extend their invitation to the University. “We want to request Makerere University to assist us integrate this model in our curriculum,” Prof. Adandedjan Claude from Benin’s University of Abomey-Calavi, Faculty of Agronomic Sciences appealed.
The same invitation was extended by TEAM AFRICA, the network that deals with tertiary education for agricultural modernization. RUFORUM also invited the University to submit the concept for the AFRISA-SPEDA model with regard to the graduate programs that were developed under the vocationalisation of the animal sector education systems (VASES).
“We are particularly interested in learning about the experiences of Makerere’s vocationalisation in tertiary institutions”, said Prof. Igor Besson from Cameroon
Prof. Kabasa also participated in other fora including one on the organization of food systems in Africa. Members expressed the need to develop the African food systems in a balanced way, taking care of not just available food but ensuring that the food is safe and healthy. Prof. David Kabasa observed that while we have so many people lacking what to eat, we also have many people who have food but are eating it in an unbalanced manner.
“The proportion of people who are malnourished because of unbalanced food intake has increased and the problem of obesity and [being] overweight is as critical in Africa today as it is in the western world. As the African union and its agents are planning to transform the food systems in Africa and agriculture in general, it must be a holistic approach ensuring that these aspects are embedded in the curricula”, he said.
Other issues discussed were on food of animal origin as a key aspect for income and livelihood of the people where more than half of the continent is relying on animal production.
The conference has brought Makerere’s innovations more into the limelight on the African continent and in the international community, complete with some take-home lessons. Indeed, many participants expected Makerere to be present on grounds that it is setting the pace in higher education and research.
“It gave us a big lesson that Makerere should learn to be where it is expected. I think in future, Makerere should be vigilant particularly the communication and Public Relations office should keep everybody informed so that other sections of the university can participate. At the same time, we have picked a lot of knowledge. This is like a shopping place where there is lots of information to inform our curricula development, strategic planning, research agenda and it is a place where we have been able to get partners already”, Prof. Kabasa observed.
Notice: Makerere Disability Scheme 2022/23 Medical Review Exercise
The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites persons with disability who applied for admission to public universities under the disability entry scheme for 2022/2023 Academic Year to appear for medical/review exercise at Makerere Unive, Senate Building, Level Two (2) in the Telepresence Centre.
NOTE: Only those who have the minimum entry requirements of at least two principal passes at A’ Level or its equivalent and at least five (5) passes at O’ Level or its equivalent will be interviewed.
Only candidates who sat ‘a’ level in 2020, 2019 and 2018 are eligible for admission.
THE EXERCISE WILL BE CONDUCTED ON 3rd, 4th and 5th October, 2022 respectively from 9.00 A.M – 1.00 P.M each day.
(i) If you fail to appear on any of the given days above, there will be no other chance for you.
(ii) Applicants with Government Scholarship for the previous years are not eligible for admission
ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH
Acting. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR
Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution
The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.
The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.
Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative
By Bernard Buteera
Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.
The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.
While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.
“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.
Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.
“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.
”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.
The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.
”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.
Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.
”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.
“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.
Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.
“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.
Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.
“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.
Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.
“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.
Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.
“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.
The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
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