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CEES Seminar Series: Research under a lockdown

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Even in the turbulent periods when most of us were home trying to hide away from Covid 19, Makerere University researchers at the Department of Humanities and Language Education of the College of Education and External studies (CEES) were busy patrolling communities to further understand what Ugandans think of current learning and teaching methods and how effectively they can be harnessed.

All this was unveiled on 21st January, 2022 during the 4th edition of the college seminar series themed Educational research during a national lockdown, Experiences and possibilities in the field. Seminar series is a Makerere University platform where both students and researchers meet to share and brainstorm on findings from projects and research they have completed.

Dr. Rebecca Nambi a senior Lecturer and researcher at the College of Education and External studies (CEES) opened the engagement reminding the audience how the Education fraternity is at crisis due to the Covid 19 pandemic and reinstated how worse it is for researchers, urged them not to bow down as it is a mandate they have to take upon if they are to continue educating and positively impacting this our nation.

Dr. Rebecca Nambi, Department of Humanities and Language Education, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University.
Dr. Rebecca Nambi, Department of Humanities and Language Education, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University.

Dr. Rovincer Najjuma the moderator of the discussion invited Dr. Marjorie Sarah Kabuye Batiibwe a research don and mathematics Lecturer at the Department of Mathematics and Basic Sciences on the panel to discuss how she successfully conducted four research projects in the middle of a country lockdown.

Dr. Kabuye with 11 years in research was able to collect data on a theme named ‘Integrated women in mathematical sciences in Uganda’ that was funded by the world academy of science where she looked at empowering Ugandan girls on picking interest in mathematics at a young age to scrap away a mindset that it is such a ‘difficult’ subject. Secondly, she worked on a research project themed ‘Future training and Job market training in secondary schools’ where she looked at avenues from the people’s perspective through which we can prepare secondary school students for the Job market economy.

Dr. Marjorie Sarah Kabuye Batiibwe, Department of Mathematics and Basic Sciences, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University.
Dr. Marjorie Sarah Kabuye Batiibwe, Department of Mathematics and Basic Sciences, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University.

Increasing the number of girls offering mathematics and basic sciences in East Africa was another project Dr. Kabuye worked on basing on the fact that a few girls pick interest in such subjects. “We wanted to address the girls’ attitude and approach towards mathematics,” added Dr. Kabuye. The fourth project was about transformation of teaching and learning using emerging technologies in Makerere University.

“Covid 19 has affected the way researchers and educationists understand, conduct and disseminate research but we still remain relevant and in a spotlight as everyone is looking on us to revamp the education sector that has been tested for the last 2 years, the domains of learning, emotions, health and life style should be at center stage in bringing back minds of our students to classes since they spend most of the time with us at schools,” Dr. Kabuye advised.

“Mentorship and psychosocial support are a mandate to every person they call a teacher. We should be able to signal to other sectors of challenges in post lockdown education.”

The pandemic has impacted educational research learning styles, pedagogy, curriculum and policy.

Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke, the Head, Department of Humanities and Language Education, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University.
Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke, the Head, Department of Humanities and Language Education, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University.

Challenges still remain in the recruitment of participants, increment in cost of doing research, delayed completion of projects, management of participatory data collection methods and minimizing ethics including consent, qualitative data collection, privacy and confidentiality.

However,embracing digital technology and greater free access to scholarly works are opportunities that cannot go unappreciated. Possibilities from research under lockdown include capacity building on online support and technological tools for researchers.

Dr. Kabuye ended her remarks showing a need for design of remote packages has to be adopted as it has been done to urban would-be samples to ensure inclusivity in research as one of the objectives and goals of research projects.

The Head of Department Humanities and Language education Dr. Muhammad Kiggudu Musoke thanked researchers and educationists at the college for honoring the seminar series program, the commitment and resilience they showed even during the Covid 19 lockdown as they embark at transformation through building for the future.

Education

Government Asked to Make Fine Art Compulsory in Secondary Schools

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Group photo of workshop participants. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Government through the Ministry of Education and Sports has been called upon to find ways of popularizing the subject of art and crafts in lower and higher secondary education.

Prof. Anthony Muggaga, the Principal of the College of Education and External Studies at Makerere University, said yesterday that the government should explore measures including making the subject compulsory.

“We should have at least a module for one term like we have General Paper or computer,” he said.

Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga.

Prof. Mugagga believes that without popularizing Fine Art, the education sector will continue churning out students who lack critical thinking.

“Fine Art is what will cultivate a critical mindset amongst our learners. That is why we encourage children in nursery school to draw; we are trying to bring out what is in their minds,” he said.

“It is the same reason that art is considered therapy for mental health patients. When they draw, they express what is taking place in their minds.”

Prof. Mugagga was speaking at the launch of the findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review.

Dr. Julius Ssegantebuka. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Julius Ssegantebuka.

Dr Julius Ssegantebuka from Makerere University College of Education and External Studies and the lead researchers said the curriculum review project is intended to prepare secondary school art and design teachers, by equipping them with practical skills and values that match the modern world.

“During this second phase of the project, we had trial lectures and discussions with the teachers. We also embarked on removing obsolete content and replaced it with new content and also separated some of the art disciplines that were formally combined,” he said.

The updated curriculum he said, puts emphasis on research, group discussions, and field studies among others.

Dr. Grace Baguma, Director NCDC. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Grace Baguma, Director NCDC.

Speaking as chief guest at the launch, Dr Grace K Baguma, the Director National Curriculum Development Center commended the initiative.

“I commend Dr Ssegantebuka and the team for this initiative, which is aimed at contributing to the development of quality curricula that employ modern pedagogies that respond to societal needs,” she said.

On her part, Dr Moreen Muwanga from Kyambogo University called for the integration of ICT in the teaching of visual arts.

“Many of us have a phobia of handling a computer. Yet the students we are teaching are flexible and conversant with ICT,” she said.

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Vice Chancellor Meets Delegates from German Adult Education Association

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The Acting Vice Chancellor, Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba has welcomed a delegation from the German Adult Education Association (DVV International) led by the Board Chair Hon. Martin Rabanus. The delegation was in the country to assess the impact of their partnership with Makerere University and the community.

DVV International and Makerere University, Department of Adult and Community Education have been partners since 1986.

The support has been in the areas of teaching and learning. DVV International supported the development and launch of the Master of Adult and Community Education (MACE) in 2007. Makerere University has since graduated many who now work as lecturers in Higher Institutions of Learning, programme managers, development workers, adult education trainers and so on. Before then, DVV International was supporting undergraduate students of the Bachelor of Adult and Community Education (BACE) with financial support towards internships and practical training during the Recess term of Year 2.

Speaking in his office on April 15, 2024, Assoc. Prof. Kakumba appreciated the Germany government for the support over the years. Saying through this support Makerere has continued to foster adult education by settling up Adult Education centres in Lira and Mbale for this purpose.

Hon. Martin Rabanus (L) receive souvenirs from Assoc. Prof. Kakumba

DVV International has over time supported staff in the area of research and publications. Some of the beneficiaries include Dr. Stella Achen, Dr. Twine Banakuka, among others. In early 1990s the organization helped to renovate the building housing adult and community education. The organization has also previously supported staff to acquire Masters and PhDs.

Prof. Kakumba appealed to Hon. Martin Rabanus to consider renewing the MoU between the two institutions in an effort to continue training adult educators.

Hon. Martin Rabanus applauded Makerere University for the achievements obtained so far and the contribution the partnership has enabled. “We are happy that we were able to provide adults an opportunity for them to get a certificate and improve their lives,” he said. “Thank you for the corporation for the last 40 years.”

Present in the meeting were the Principal of College of Education and External Studies(CEES), Prof. Anthony Mugagga, the Dean of the School of Distance and Lifelong Learning, Dr. Harriet Nabushawo and Dr. Stella Achen – Head of Department, Adult and Community Education.

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Scholars call for incorporating patriotism in education curriculum

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Group photo of the workshop participants. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Scholars have called for the inclusion of patriotism in the country’s curriculum, arguing that starting as early as nursery school will go a long way in transforming our society. The call was made during a stakeholders’ workshop organized to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

Lack of a shared Ugandan culture, beliefs & national value system is one some of the things that were identified as those that hinder the spirit of Patriotism.

Dr. Dorothy Kyagaba. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Dorothy Kyagaba.

It was also noted that the sense of patriotism demonstrated by most students who graduate from universities in Uganda is at its lowest. This, Dr. Dorothy Kyagaba, said is manifested in the persistent riots, rise of the crime rate, vandalism, rampant students’ death, Individualism which are detrimental to the nation.

Although legal frameworks & initiatives, National Patriotic Programs, trainings in secondary schools, and patriotism clubs in high schools exist, the sense of patriotism among universities is still disturbingly low, Dr Kyababa said.

To this end, the research teams seeks to analyze the teacher education curricula to ascertain aspects of patriotism among selected Public Universities in Uganda, to establish teacher trainees’ perception of patriotism among selected Public Universities and to build capacities of teacher trainees in integrating Patriotism among selected Public Universities in Uganda.

Prof. Mugagga, the Principal of CEES. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Mugagga, the Principal of CEES.

Some scholars have argued that using practitioners & teacher education to build a sense of patriotism in preservice teachers as a community of practice increases the odds that future generations will care about each other and love their country.

Speaking during the stakeholders’ meeting on April 15, 2024, the Principal of CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga, said that many people confuse patriotism with being a member of a political party. This he said is far from the true meaning of the word. Patriotism according to scholars’ entails living in harmony with each other, limited violence, sense of unity, peaceful environments with each other, preserving a county’s heritage, interests, respecting each other’s culture, values, and love and commitment to the country’s democratic principles. To achieve this, Prof. Mugagga advised that people ought to be taught about self-management, honesty, emotional intelligence, etiquette, hygiene, entrepreneurship, soft skills and survival skills among other things.

Assistant Commissioner of the National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps Dr. Tibamwenda Brenda. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

In her remarks, the Assistant Commissioner of the National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps Dr. Tibamwenda Brenda demystified the Misconceptions about Patriotism emphasizing that it is not an NRM agenda or a recruitment group but it is rather a program that would help learners better through protecting the environment, cherishing hard work, honesty, accountability and fairness.

Prof. Betty Ezati, who also attended the meeting advised that patriotism ought to start at home. “Patriotism should start at home and pre-primary. For higher institutions of learning, let us train the teachers to love their country and in so doing, they will pass this on to the young generation,” she said.  

Prof. Betty Ezati (Left) and Madam Kawuma Caroline (Right) at the event. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

In her closing remarks, the Principal Education Officer, Teacher Education Training & Development, Ministry of Education and Sports Mrs. Elizabeth Kisakye Nsamba emphasized “a need for a think tank to re-conceptualize Patriotism in Teacher Education with a well-structured programme”

The Stakeholders’ workshop was graced by key Stakeholders from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Uganda National Institute of Teacher Education, Uganda National Teachers’ Union, National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps Teacher Educators and Preservice teachers among others.   The study will be conducted at the School of Education Makerere University, Faculty of Education, Kyambogo University and Faculty of Education, Mountains of the Moon University.

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