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This is how to spice up History Teaching

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History Lecturers can now use videos, animations, avatars, illustrations and maps to spice up the teaching of history in higher institutions of learning. Training geared at using emerging technologies to innovate the teaching and learning of History in higher Institutions of learning kicked off on Friday March 11, 2022 in the AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES).

Participants gathered for the training in the AVU Conference Room, CEES, Makerere University.
Participants gathered for the training in the AVU Conference Room, CEES, Makerere University.

The training, which received participants from Gulu University, Kabale University and Makerere University is funded by Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF). The Principal Investigator (PI) of the project, Dr. Harriet Nabushawo said the project will train History Lecturers to apply various technologies such as Screencast-O-Matic to make videos, images, illustrations, animations and maps in the redesigned History courses. She said the participants would be trained to use Voki, software that facilitates the creation of avatars to replace the teacher in voice and form.

A collection of female avatars. Source: Pixabay
A collection of female avatars. Source: Pixabay

The research team is also building an App which will be used in the teaching and learning process. The lecturers will be able to upload their teaching material on the App so that it is easily accessible by the students.

Dr. Godfrey Mayende, Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL), CEES.
Dr. Godfrey Mayende, Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL), CEES.

Dr. Godfrey Mayende, one of the trainers told participants that all videos made should engage with the learners. Before making a video, one must study the affordance at the students’ disposal so that the students are not left behind. Prof. Paul Muyinda Birevu, also a researcher on the team, asked the participants to always assess the benefits the students will get from the mode of teaching before administering it. “The intended outcome should be clear. The skills or values you want them to acquire are paramount,” he said.

Assoc. Prof. Paul Muyinda Birevu, the Project's Education Technologist.
Assoc. Prof. Paul Muyinda Birevu, the Project’s Education Technologist.

The objective of the project is to demonstrate that teaching and learning of History using emerging technologies can motivate students interest to research, discover, analyse and construct new knowledge as well as toretool History lectures to use ICT-enabling pedagogy and to revive the teaching and learning of History in Uganda.

Screencast-O-Matic https://screencast-o-matic.com/

This is an Application that allows one to easily create, edit and communicate with videos and images. Educators and students turn to Screencast-O-Matic for easy video communication. Videos are used in the classroom for flipped/blended learning, Video Messaging, student assignments, feedback and more! The App has simple and intuitive tools to share ideas.

Participants interact during the training.
Participants interact during the training.

VOKI https://l-www.voki.com/

This App allows one to create Avatars, dress them up, give them the words to say and share with the learners. It is an engaging, collaborative, empowering and fun way to teach and learn.

Participants were drawn from Gulu University, Kabale University and Makerere University.
Participants were drawn from Gulu University, Kabale University and Makerere University.

About The App

  • Runs on Android
  • Browse the content of your History courses, even when offline
  • Receive instant notifications of messages and other events
  • Quickly find and contact other people in your History courses
  • Upload images, audio, videos and other files from Voki and
    Screen-O-Matic
  • Track your progress, mark tasks as complete and browse your
    learning plans
  • Attempt quizzes, post in forums and edit wiki pages
  • View your course grades

Research Team

  1. Dr. Harriet Nabushawo, (PI)
  2. Dr. Harriet Najjemba, (Co-PI)
  3. Assoc. Prof. Paul Muyinda Birevu, (Education Technologist)
  4. Dr. Dorothy Ssebowa Kyagaba, (History Pedagogy)
  5. Mr. Jonathan Kizito, (ICT Specialist)
  6. Dr. Godfrey Mayende, (Co-Opted)

Education

Call for Papers: Makerere University Journal of Research and Innovations in Teacher Education (RITE)

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The Principal CEES-Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga (Left), Principal PRO-Ms. Ritah Namisango (2nd Right) with Staff as well as Secondary School Teachers and Students at the Youth and Innovation Expo, 6th-7th October 2023, Makerere University. Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere University Journal of Research and Innovations in Teacher Education (RITE) is now accepting submissions for its special issue to be published in August 2024. RITE Journal covers a wide range of topics within teacher education, including but not limited to:

  • Innovative pedagogies in Pre-primary, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and University Teacher Education
  • Studies on Emerging Technologies in Education (ETs).
  • Capacity building and Continuous Professional Development (CPDs) for teachers and teacher educators
  • Education Policy Reviews

Journal Information:

  • Publication Model: RITE Journal is published both in print and online versions.
  • Publishing Formats: Accepted formats include PDF, EPUB, and HTML.
  • Publication Frequency: Bi-annually.
  • Peer Review Model: Double-Blind Review.
  • Indexed in: Google Scholar, Web of Science, and ERIC.

Author Information:

For submission guidelines, please visit the Author Information page: https://rite.mak.ac.ug/for-authors

Journal Statistics:

Acceptance Rate: The average first decision on papers is in 15 days, and the average final decision on peer-reviewed papers is in 45 days.

Sponsors and Affiliated Institutions:

The RITE Journal’s scholarship is supported by funding from:

For submission of articles and more details about the journal, please visit the submission portal: https://rite.mak.ac.ug.

Contact Information:

Publisher: Makerere University Institute of Teacher Education and Research (MITER).
E-mail: rite@mak.ac.ug
Alt e-mail: miter@mak.ac.ug

Deadline for Submissions:

Please submit your articles by 30th April to be considered for the special issue in August 2024

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Education

CHAKITAU calls for directive to make Kiswahili compulsory

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Participants in the Conference march around the Main Campus. The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The association of Kiswahili speakers in Uganda through their umbrella body, CHAKITAU, have asked the government to pass a directive making the language compulsory in schools and higher institutions.

CHAKITAU is a Swahili word which stands for Chama Cha Kiswahili Cha Taifa Cha Uganda.

The members said if Kiswahili is integrated in teaching and learning at all levels, Uganda will then realize the East African Community goals and objectives.

 Dr Levi Masereka Kahaika, a lecturer of Kiswahili at Makerere, said the government should think about introducing the language at nursery level.

The Guest of Honour, Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke (Right) at the Conference. The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

This he believes will make learning Kiswahili easy since it is believed the learning rate among children is higher than their older counterparts.

“Our research revealed that if a child is introduced to a language when he/she is still young, chances are high they will speak it fluently,” Dr Masereka said.

He further noted that a child is capable of learning six languages at a time, and Kiswahili should be prioritized alongside English, the official language.

“At the regional level, we are talking about free movement and free residency so we need to start now and everyone learns Kiswahili since it unites the East African Community,’ Dr Masereka said.

The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Kiswahili speakers raised the concern during the 17th annual Kiswahili conference which was held at Makerere University from 23rd to 24th March, 2024.

The conference was graced by students taking Kiswahili language at higher institutions of learning lead by Makerere University, the host institution, Kyambogo University, Metropolitan International University, Bishop Stuart University, Mountains of the Moon University, Uganda Martyrs University, and Pentecostal University among others.

Schools including St Kizito SS Bugolobi, St Joseph Naggalama, Archbishop Kiwanuka Masaka, and Kampala Parents’ school among others also participated.

Some of the participants included students from various universities. The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Dr Muhammad Kiggundu, the Head of the Department of Humanities and Language Education at Makerere University officiated at the conference on the opening day as the guest of honour.

In his remarks, Dr Kiggundu said despite the integration of Kiswahili in the Ordinary level curriculum, many teachers have remained unemployed, posing a risk to the future of the language in Uganda.

He asked the government to reconsider recruiting Bachelor’s degree holders saying the majority of the recent teachers recruited on government payroll were diploma holders.

“Government recruited diploma holders to teach students in lower secondary leaving out the bachelor’s teachers, most of whom are on the streets of Kampala searching for jobs,” Dr Kiggundu said.

He noted that since Kiswahili was introduced at Makerere University, they have passed out 40 percent of Kiswahili teachers in the country but only 10 percent have since secured jobs.

The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Dr Kiggundu asked the government to take immediate action and have those idle teachers deployed in schools countrywide to enable them spread the language to other parts of the country.

Dr Boaz Mutungi, the vice president of CHAKITAU, expressed worry over Kiswahili being taught in only central and Western schools and institutions.

“All universities in the North and Eastern don’t offer Kiswahili as one of the subjects in schools,” Dr Mutundi said.

He asked the government to absorb the available teachers and put them in vacant schools and institutions.

According to the statistics presented by CHAKITAU as of 2024, they have a total of 2,401 teachers as registered members of the association but 2,056 of them are unemployed.

Pupils perform during the Conference. The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The statistics further reveal that only 345 teachers are employed by the government countrywide. 57 of these teachers are diploma holders, 23 of them are Master’s degree holders and 19 teachers have Doctorate in Kiswahili (PhD), with one Doctor still unemployed.

The rest of them who are the majority have bachelors from different universities.

Dr Martin Mulei, the patron of CHAWAKANA Uganda, lauded primary and secondary schools that have already started adopting the language policy of teaching Kiswahili.

In 2022, cabinet approved the implementation of the 21st East African Community Summit directive in Uganda to make Kiswahili the official language and they also approved compulsory teaching of Kiswahili in primary and secondary schools.

However, the directive worked well in lower secondary schools after making Kiswahili compulsory for seniors one and two.

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Education

Long-Serving Academic Dr. Samuel Siminyu Retires: Fond Farewell from IODEL

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Dr. Samuel Siminyu (2nd Right) flanked by members of his family receives a gift from the Director IODeL, Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda (Left) at the farewell event. Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) has bid farewell to one of its longest serving academics, Dr.  Samuel Ndeda Siminyu. This was at a colorful luncheon on March 27, 2024.  Spiced up with music, dance, food, drinks, jokes, laughter, and nostalgic speeches, the party was attended by the institute’s staff, friends, and colleagues of Uncle Sam, as he has been popularly known.

Colleagues shared memories of Uncle Sam’s dedication to the job, resilience and mentorship. Speaker after speaker underscored his fatherly approach towards handling of both students and fellow staff. “I remember my first travel abroad was with uncle Sam. We suffered several mishaps such as missing the plane, but he kept claiming me down, saying we would hope that all would be well. Indeed, after one month of being abroad, we returned safely. He was and still is like a father to me,” Mr. Kajumbula Richard said.

Dr. Samuel Siminyu serves cake to colleagues during his farewell. Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Dr. Siminyu was also praised for his mastery of the English language.  “Can it be true that Omuwongo Samwiri has clocked retirement? Samwiri remains my legendary wordsmith! I will greatly miss those positive comments about my grammar, word diction, and synthesis! Samwiri is not only brainy but also well cultured, responsible, respectful, amiable, jovial, warm and polished. I am lucky to have known and interacted with Mzee Mangeni (Sr) who fathered these eminent personalities. Samwiri has been my trusted encyclopedia, and it’s sad that he is retiring at such a young age,” another colleague shared.

Another colleague, Mr Arthur Mugisha also added, “Sam was such a perfectionist that nothing would cross his table with any errors, and he appends a signature. I remember him principally teaching me how to write official documents in his office. I would draft, and then we would write together what he would sign. He has such a moral character that everyone would wish to emulate.”.

Left to Right: Dr. Samuel Siminyu, a Guest and Dean School of Distance and Lifelong Learning-Dr. Harriet Nabushawo Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

“Sam was a father figure to many of us who came as young staff. especially me, who never joined Makerere with anyone holding my hand but my performance. If anything was going astray, he would call you and counsel you instead of reprimanding you. For me, that was perfect leadership. I have learnt quite a lot from him, which makes me stand out in my leadership within and outside the department.”

Uncle Sam, as he is known by many in the department, has mentored many staff on matters of student support, managing DE programs, handling students as coordinators, matters of faith, and personal well-being.

Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

On his part, Dr. Siminyu thanked IODEL for the love and support shown to him over the year and for the beautiful sendoff. He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to mentor and lead others, and he emphasized the importance of continuous learning and growth in leadership. Dr. Siminyu’s legacy of compassionate leadership will continue to inspire those he has mentored for years to come. His dedication to helping others succeed has left a lasting impact on the department, and his wisdom and guidance will be greatly missed. Dr. Siminyu’s legacy will live on through the countless individuals he has influenced throughout his career. He said that he is confident that his mentees will carry on his values and teachings, making a positive impact on their own leadership journeys.

Speaking during the luncheon, Mr. Banadda Godfrey, a member of the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) and also a retiree, shared some insight into what one needs to do pre and post-retirement. 

Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Mr Banadda said it was important for one to save money before retirement. This, he said, should be invested in a fixed deposit account or a unit trust so that one is able to enjoy the interest accrued during retirement.

He advised Dr. Siminyu to draw up his own retirement plan, which he said would guide him in the utilization of his money.

“You will need to put in place a plan for cash flow and also have an investment plan for your benefits. Look at investment options like bonds and trust funds,” he emphasized.  

Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Don’t delegate the use of your money or enterprise. Invest in ventures you can supervise effectively. Always adjust to your new status quo. Your lifestyle might need to change, so adjust quickly. Don’t live in denial.”

Mr. Banadda advised Dr. Siminyu to continue socializing and also widen his social networks by joining clubs, visiting friends and family, and engaging in regular exercise. 

Cake cutting by Dr. Samuel Siminyu and members of his family as Dr. Harriet Nabushawo (Left) and Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda (Right) applaud. Dr. Samuel Ndeda Siminyu farewell luncheon by the Institute of Open, Distance and e-Learning (IODeL) on 27th March 2024, AVU Conference Room, College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

“Above all of this, enrich your spiritual life, join a church, and pray,” he concluded.  

About Dr. Siminyu

  • BAED 1989 and scored Upper Second
  • MA 1995
  • Joined the Department of Distance Education as a contract staff (Editor) 1995
  • Got Contract appointment for 6 months on 25th January 1996 an Editor
  • He joined with a Masters Degree so he got an appointment as a lecturer on March 11, 1998 a rank he has held until his retirement.
  • He previously served as the head of the Department of Distance Education
  • All through his service at Makerere, he has served as the Head of Materials Development and Distribution Section in the department.
  • Sam has been an expert in curriculum development and review for all the delivered programs in the department (B.Ed/ Ext, B.COX, B.Sc and BARI)
  • He became the interim managing editor of Makerere University Press on June 20, 2022 and made several publications under his watchful eye.
  • Sam was one of the pioneers of online learning at Makerere University. He did his PhD at the University of Liverpool purely online.
  • He has participated in policy formulation and implementation at various levels.

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