BTVETDEL Stakeholder's Meeting

On Monday 16th March, 2020 academic staff from the Institute of Open Distance and e-Learning (IODEL) had a stakeholders meeting with the Assistant Commissioner Business and the Principals from Uganda Colleges of Commerce (UCC) to discuss the modalities  of  increasing access of Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) through Open, Distance and e-Learning. This is intended to be achieved through one of the Makerere research and innovation funds (RIF) projects in the Institute of Open Distance and e-Learning entitled “Increasing Access to Inclusive and Quality Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training through Open, Distance and eLearning (BTVETDEL)”. This project is a collaboration between Makerere University, Ministry of Education and Sport particularly the BTVET sector, and Institute of Open Distance and e-Learning at the College of Education and External Studies will take the lead on this research, the project is a beneficiary of the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (RIF) 2019/2020.
Participants in the meeting included;  Ms. Sarah Namuli Tamale Assistant Commissioner Business, Dr. Tusiime Stephen Principal UCC Kabale, Mr Nabwana Michael Sam Principal UCC Aduku, Mr Awola Ronald Lawrence Principal UCC Tororo, Mr. Mutesigensi Deus Principal UCC Pacwachi, Mr Oding Wacha Edward Principal UCC Soroti. Makerere team was represented by Dr. Mayanja Jamiah the principal investigator (PI) and Mr. Kajumbula Richard (team member). 
The Assistant Commissioner Business Ms. Sarah Namuli Tamale in a special way welcomed members and extended gratitude to the team from Makerere University for the opportunity to increase access to BTVET programs, which has been a major challenge because of the inadequate teaching staff and training institutions in terms of number and size to cater for the number of enrolled students. She pledged support from the ministry to ensure that the project outcomes are achieved.
Dr. Mayanja mentioned that the project is within the mandate of the Institute of Open Distance and e-Learning (IODeL). Institute provides Open Distance and e-Learning oversight and backstopping functions in the entire university. This project is an opportunity to reach out to UCC to enable them increase access to their programs using blended teaching and learning. In her presentation, Dr. Mayanja mentioned that some challenges UCC face in teaching, learning and administration of the program can be addressed using blended learning.
Mr Kajumbula Richard made a presented one of the blended course Research methodology done by Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Business Administration students and currently on MUELE. He noted that for blended programs to be successful, tutors’ presence online is very important. 
In her closing remarks, the commissioner BTVET Hajat Safina Musenne appreciated the project for fronting E- Learning. She urged UCC Principals to embrace and also utilize this opportunity. The Government of Uganda is committed to promoting e-learning at all levels of education and therefore we appeal to you to sensitize your lectures on the advantages of using technologies in teaching and learning. She also cautioned Principals to take the necessary precautions as at the moment as the country is in COVID-19 virus scare.