Makerere University and Stanbic Bank Uganda on Tuesday 15th February, 2022 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at supporting blended learning by enabling staff and students acquire laptops on hire purchase basis. The MoU was signed on behalf of Makerere and Stanbic by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and CEO Anne Juuko respectively. The Director Legal Affairs-Mr. Javason Kamugisha and Head Legal Department-Candy Okoboi signed as witnesses on behalf of Makerere and Stanbic correspondingly.
Prof. Nawangwe in his welcome remarks to the Stanbic CEO and her team shared that the Makerere University Council in October 2015 approved the Open, Distance and eLearning Policy, which paved the way for several programmes to be offered fully online. He added that the COVID-19 pandemic therefore did not find the University fully unprepared but enabled the institution to make improvements to its eLearning Environment (MUELE).
“The University is in a way well positioned to deliver digital learning, but the major issue that we got were complaints from the students who did not have the gadgets to participate in this mode of learning” noted the Prof. Nawangwe in appreciation of the initiative by Stanbic.
The Vice Chancellor emphasised that online learning is not about COVID-19, but is the future of humanity especially as the trend in the global trend in service provision increasingly leans towards digital. He therefore cautioned that, “we in Africa must not risk being left behind again and become victims of the digital divide.”
Prof. Nawangwe paid tribute to Stanbic for being a longstanding partner of Makerere and willingly agreeing to support the acquisition of laptops by students eager to embrace digital learning.
“If our students cannot do digital learning, then who is going to push our country into the digital era?” pondered the Vice Chancellor, before adding “On this note, let us be serious as a country and support digital learning because that is the future.”
He concluded by calling upon the students to take advantage of the scheme, adding that every student in Uganda beyond Makerere deserves to be accorded the same facilitation to embrace digital learning.
The CEO Stanbic in her remarks noted that the MoU signing was an emotional and joyous occasion for her as an alumna, as well as many members of her team that have gone through the gates of Makerere.
Ms. Juuko shared that it was therefore a duty of employers such as Stanbic to partner with institutions like Makerere to produce graduates that are employable. “I can tell you now that if you are not digitally savvy, you cannot be employed, that is the gold standard that has been set by the market.”
She added that the MoU was part of Stanbic’s pioneering spirit of recognising the challenge and desiring to be part of the solution. She noted that although the Bank had chosen to start with Makerere, they intended to rollout the scheme to the rest of the country.
“It starts with the gadget itself: we are partnering with the Teachers’ Union on how we can work with them to provide digital training because it is skill, and we working very hard with the Ministry of Education (and Sports) on these matters as well” added the CEO.
Proposed structure of the Scheme
- Laptop is made accessible to a First Year Student reporting to Makerere for approximately UGX 70,000 per month, payable throughout the duration of the programme.
- Laptops will also be made accessible to Continuing Students albeit at higher monthly payments, owing to the shorter duration to programme completion.
- Laptops will be customisable by specifications and software installation depending on specific demands of student programmes.
- Students must be fully registered with the University, be in possession of a National ID, and fully registered for a Stanbic Flexipay Wallet in order to enroll on the scheme.
- Laptop is comprehensively insured against fire, damage and theft, at a price covered by the monthly payments.
- Laptops will be regularly serviced at a price covered by the monthly payments.
- Stanbic will work with the School of Engineering and other relevant units to ensure that Makerere students are trained and enabled to run the laptop servicing/maintenance workshops.
Speaking on behalf of the 87th Students Guild, the Speaker Rt. Hon. Gatuya Mucyo welcomed the initiative with a disclaimer.
“As the Students Guild and Students at Makerere University, mostly at a time when we are celebrating 100 years of excellence, we cannot be against online studies. It is one of the initiatives that we welcome so much” he said.
The Guild Speaker welcomed Stanbic to engage in various students activities such as innovation exhibitions and committed to mobilize students through the Guild House to act as agents to popularise the scheme from the College level right down to the classroom level.
Adding a rejoinder to the days remarks, the Vice Chancellor reminded the audience that the University had, in a bit to make digital learning affordable, since the COVID-19 lockdown, made arrangements with MTN and Airtel to zero-rate Makerere‘s online platforms. This is in addition to talks with the University’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) RENU to grant similar access to other platforms such as Zoom.
“Through the Research and Education Network of Uganda-RENU, we have managed to zero-rate an opensource platform – Big Blue Button, which is integrated with our Learning Management System. We are also looking at zero-rating Zoom – a commercial application, through RENU” supplemented Mr. Simon Mugabi, the Director ICT Support (DICTS).
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.
Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23
The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, informs applicants wishing to be admitted to Bachelor of Laws Private for 2022/2023 Academic year but failed to submit their application online to submit their applications from Friday 23rd to Friday 30th September, 2022 at a non-refundable fee of 50,000/= (Fifty thousand shillings only).
The applicants MUST have passed the Pre-entry Examinations for Bachelor of Laws.
Diploma/Degree holders should submit certified copies of their academic transcript to Room
315 Level 3, Senate Building.
Applicants who have already been admitted need not apply.
For any additional information, contact Undergraduate Admissions Offices 301/303 for A’Level Applicants and Office 315 for Diploma/Degree holders.
ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH
AG. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR
Date: 22nd September, 2022
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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution