VC reiterates Makerere’s commitment on e-learning as the East African Teacher Education Symposium kicks off

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University has reiterated the University’s commitment towards the implementation of e-learning. The vice Chancellor was speaking at the opening of a 3-day symposium organized to discuss the “Pandemic’s effects on Education in East Africa”.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, VC, Makerere University.

 Prof. Nawangwe said the University has embarked on process of developing the e-learning.

“Online teaching by Makerere University falls under core goals of the University that endeavours to market itself as a centre of research, teaching and Community outreach,” he said

Upon the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, he said all private Universities nearly closed after they failed to pay their staff.  Those that chose to teach online struggled because students lacked the necessary equipment.

Makerere University, he said upon learning this immediately constituted a special Committee led by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs which studied and rolled out e-learning and as well supported its staff in acquiring skills in the same.

“We embarked on the largest staff development program ever in the history of the University, when the institute trained more than 700 staff within one month. We also reactivated the MUELE and these initiatives maintained an online presence, with all students at Makerere also being advised to obtain a University email address thus teaching and learning went on,” he said.

“We were in a way responding to a theme of a conference which I attended in Beijing just before covid-19 broke out and we all didn’t know that it will be there,” he said

Prof. Nawangwe made these remarks during the launch of the 3 days East African Teacher Education Symposium 2022 (EATES 2022)

The East African Teacher Education Symposium was organized by the Capacity Building for Research-Based Teacher Education (CABUTE) project with funding from the Government of Norway.

“Uganda is home to over 40 registered private Universities and 11 public Universities. Almost all Universities in Uganda were Ill prepared for the covid-19 pandemic shock just like many in the world,” Nawangwe said.

“I thank the CABUTE project which aims at successful implementation of the National Teacher Policy through capacity building in English languages, education, foundation of education, mathematics education and Music education,” he said

Prof. Nawamgwe thanked the people and the government of Norway for the financial support to research and staff development and infrastructure development, saying it has been instrumental in making Makerere the great University that it is.

The Ambassador of Norway to Uganda, Her Excellency Elin Ostebo Johansen, said the project is a reflection program on career educational development.

Her Excellency Elin Østebø  Johansen, Ambassador of Norway to Uganda.

Teachers, she said are the backbone of ensuring successful learning for everybody.

“A great teacher requires a great teacher education, excellence in functioning knowledge is necessary to excel as well. Quality education is a basis for growth and prosperity of people and this is import to all countries,” Ambassador Elin Ostebo Johansen said.

Paul Muyinda Birevu Country Coordinator of CABUTE Project said that the project is one of the signature activities of the Capacity building for research based teacher education project.

“We conceived this project after realizing the need to support the government in fast tracking capacity development of higher teacher trainers in primary teacher colleges and National Teacher colleges. These institutions are by policy required to transform into degree awarding institutions,” he said

He said that the CABUTE project therefore is intended to support this initiative and it is starting to pay off.

The project has awarded over 10 scholarships for Masters and PhD studies, at Makerere University. The awardees are drawn from National Teacher Colleges and Primary Teacher colleges across the country.

Prof. Steinar Sætre, The Principal Investigator CABUTE

“Our work with building capacity in Ugandan teacher
education is finally in full swing. In the coming years, EATES will present
the results of this work, and the work of the CABUTE candidates’ will be
of particular interest. We already look forward to accompanying them
on their journey toward a degree,” the Principal Investigator, Prof. Steinar Sætre said.

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