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Makerere University launches EQIP project at EQIP Open Day Workshop

 

On 29th August 2019, Makerere University College of Education and External Studies in conjunction with College Computing and Information Sciences conducted EQIP Open Day at the School of Distance and Lifelong Learning Multimedia Conference Facility. The event attracted participants from the academia, NGOs, Public and Private sector entities as well as students. The Chief Guest was Minister for Higher Education, Hon JC Muyingo who was represented by Mr. Timothy Ssejjoba the Principal Education officer of Higher Education in the Ministry of Education and Sports.

 The aim of the Open Day was to Launch the EQIP Project at Makerere University and create an awareness of the need and benefits of adopting transformative pedagogy in higher education as a panacea for acquisition of employability skills

The Acting Communication Officer for College of Computing and Information Sciences Mr. Honda Fura attended the event and was the master of ceremony for the day. He took a primary responsibility to serve as a gracious host. He played a crucial role in the success of MAK EQIP Open Day Workshop by keeping the show on schedule and keeping the audience engaged

The Makerere University EQIP Project Coordinator Associate Professor Berivu Muyinda welcomed all participants and said that researchers in universities are taking up the mental about transformative technology and ensuring quality of Higher Education to enable University graduates be relevant to the current job market. He said that technology is growing at a faster speed and he urged that there is need to change the way things are done. He said that the aim of EQIP project is to give direction to higher institution of learning to adopt the transformative pedagogy as a panacea for the acquisition of employability Skills

Dr. Rehema Baguma a teaching staff from the College of Computing and Information Science and a project member introduced the project and motivations to the workshop participants. He said that the main goal of EQIP project is to increase the employability of graduates through student and staff mobility, internationalisation of study programmes and promotion of transformative pedagogy with an objective of providing high education for future job markets

She took the participants through the project activities, specific goals, focus areas and project partners. She also revealed that the project was funded by the Norwagian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher education (DIKU)

The event was graced by the Minister of Higher Education of the Republic of Uganda Hon Dr. JC Muyingo, PhD who was represented by Mr. Timothy Ssejjoba the Principal Education officer of Higher Education in the Ministry of Education and Sports. He said that EQIP project has two important components which are internationalisation and quality of higher education that are good to build human capacity.  

He stressed that Ministry of Education and Sports is focussing on transformative mobile pedagogy so as to improve equitable and inclusive access to quality higher education and lifelong learning, also to improve the relevance of higher education to the job market. He said that the use modern methods of pedagogy will help the Uganda to produce first class graduates that are comparable with first class countries job market. He also stressed that Asian Tiger Nations achieved world class economy through using their human resource by provision of quality higher education and focused on lifelong learning

Prof. Banabas Nawangwe the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University was represented by Prof Kakumba Umar the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs of Makerere University. He congratulated the EQIP project team upon winning the grant from the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (DIKU) to improve the quality of education in educational sciences and ICT in Makerere University and other participating universities.

He stressed that this is timely given the value of quality education to meeting the global development agenda/Sustainable Development Goals and the National Development Agenda under the Second National Development Plan (2015/2016-2019/2020).

MAK-EQIP Project Team

He also said that the focus of Makerere University is providing innovative teaching, learning, research and services responsive to national and global needs. Being the oldest and number one university in Uganda and East Africa, and among the top five in the whole of Africa, Makerere University is the national leader in efforts to continuously improve the quality and flexibility of Higher Education in comparison to that offered by institutions in developed and emerging economies and promoting confidence in the national higher education system.

He pointed out that Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) should transform their curricula and curricula implementation so as to produce employable graduates with 21st Century skills, namely: critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovativeness, collaboration, lifelong/self-directed learning, professional ethics, and global citizenry, among others. Using internationalized curricula, transformative pedagogy and technology enabled learning has the potential to produce graduates with transferable skills and competences for meeting future job market requirements.

Prof. Tonny Oyana the Principal  Makerere University College of Computing and Information science  while giving his remarks and responding to claims from the employer’s, refuted claims that universities are producing half baked graduates in regard to the skills currently needed in the job market. He stressed that the cardinal role of a university is to provide foundation knowledge to graduates while employers provide foundation technical skills to graduates.  He advised employers to give more technical training to graduates. He gave an example of Hawai that is training students at Makerere University so that they are ready for the job market. He advised students to develop a culture volunteering. He called on industries to come to universities to dialogue on how to prepare students to fit the current job Markets

Prof Fred Masagazi Masaazi stressed that public claims that universities don't share research finding.  He therefore said that EQIP Open Day is helping Makerere University College of College of Education and External Studies and College of Computing of Information Science to share research information. He also pointed out that EQIP project is bout ensuring quality in Higher Education. He also reported in his remarks that Makerere University is now providing pedagogical skills to all teaching staff at University. He said that employability is a critical issue in Uganda and EQIP Project will reduce on this problem. He urged Uganda National Council for Higher Education to champion the transformation of curriculum in higher education

During the panel discussion at Makerere University EQIP Open day workshop, the project Coordinator Associate Professor Paul Birevu Muyinda and one of the panel discussants ignited the discussion with a video presentation; among many questions was how to increase quality in higher education.

The debate was joined by our partner University of Agder through video conferencing. This group comprised of University of Agder staff and the first cohort of EQIP Student Exchange programme from Makerere University and University of Rwanda who contributed to the debate.

The pane discussants included Associate Professor Paul Birevu Muyinda, Associate Professor Jesica Norah Aguti, Associate Professor Ronald Bisaso and Dr. Rehema Baguma